Laguna Hills, CA – December 31, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2002-2005 Lexus SC and Toyota Sequoia, 2003-2005 Toyota Corolla and Tundra, and 2003-2007 Pontiac Vibe vehicles due to airbag propellant degradation. The potential number of units affected is 169,481. This recall is connected to a larger recall driven by Takata, in advance of official DIRs from Takata but in accordance with preset plans.
According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, these vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger frontal air bag, these inflators may explode due to propellant degradation. An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Timeline of Events
On December 7, 2018, in consideration of a sufficient supply of final remedy inflators and upon discussion with the Agency, Toyota decided to conduct a campaign to replace the air bag inflator or the air bag assembly on certain Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Additionally, Toyota is also recalling certain Pontiac Vibe vehicles based on General Motors’ request, and in consideration of a sufficient supply of final remedy inflators by them.
Not all vehicles in the affected range were sold in the U.S. The subject vehicles are equipped with front passenger air bag inflators (Takata-designated SPI, PSPI or PSPI-L) which contain a non-desiccated phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant and that were replaced as a “like-for-like” inflator under a prior recall by Takata, although Takata’s official DIRs that affect the subject vehicles will not occur until late 2019. Toyota is accelerating the launch of the remedy for these vehicles in advance of the Takata decisions.
Toyota will notify the Toyota and Lexus owners. General Motors will notify the Pontiac Vibe owners. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator with an alternate inflator or replace the air bag assembly that includes an alternate inflator, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 14, 2019.
Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371, Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987 or Pontiac customer service at 1-800-762-2737. Toyota’s numbers for these recalls are J0A (Zone A Toyota), J0B (Zone B Toyota), J0C (Zone C Toyota), JLI (Zone A Lexus), JLJ (Zone B Lexus), and JLK (Zone C Lexus).
This recall includes vehicles that have had their air bag previously replaced under an earlier air bag campaign. General Motors will notify NHTSA separately of its repair and notification schedule and its campaign number concerning the Pontiac Vibe, and will provide reimbursement to owners for repairs according to the plan submitted by GM on May 19, 2017.
Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-883.