Toyota announced Wednesday the recall of 1.7 million additional vehicles worldwide as part of the Takata airbag replacement program. About 1.3 million vehicles are in the United States.
The most important reminder of all the automakers in history began in 2009 after the discovery that Takata air bag inflators could degrade over time and, if activated, spray fragments of cutting metal on the occupants of the vehicle, causing injury or even death.
Toyota's latest recall concerns vehicles built between 2010 and 2015 and includes various Lexus models, as well as Sienna, Corolla, Matrix, Scion XB and 4Runner vehicles. Specific details about the cars involved in the recall are available on this Toyota Web page.
The Japanese car giant announces that the owners concerned will receive a direct notification of the reminder by mail "or other means" in first class from the end of January 2019. The work will be done for free and should last about an hour for most vehicles . .
"Depending on the vehicle model, Toyota and Lexus dealers will replace either the inflation of the front passenger airbag or the entire airbag," the company said on Wednesday.
Recall of the most complex vehicle in the history of the United States
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has described the Takata recall as "the most important and complex vehicle recall in the history of the United States." Tens of millions of vehicles manufactured by 19 different automakers are involved, with US automakers being adding 10 million Takata airbags to the recall list. Ford, for example, announced in recent days that it was calling for nearly one million of its vehicles worldwide to replace potentially defective airbags manufactured by the now-defunct company.
The thruster that inflates Takata airbags can degrade over time. In the United States, this degradation is likely to occur more rapidly in areas with high temperature fluctuations and high absolute humidity. When activated, a defective airbag can spray metal fragments directly onto the driver and passengers, resulting in serious or even worse injuries. NHTSA confirmed that 15 people in the United States had been killed following the activation of a defective Takata airbag, and that eight other deaths around the world were related to the fault. In addition, at least 250 people in the United States were reportedly injured by the Takata airbag explosion.
According to the NHTSA, about 19 million defective Takata airbag inflators will have been recalled by 19 automakers by the end of 2019, and about 17 million vehicles still need to be replaced.