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DETROIT (AP) – Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America to replace the potentially fatal Takata air bag inflators.
The decision announced Wednesday includes 1.3 million vehicles in the United States and is part of the largest series of auto recalls in the history of the country.
Takata inflators can explode with too much force and project shrapnel on drivers and passengers. At least 23 people were killed around the world and hundreds were injured.
The recall concerns Toyota models, including the 2010 to 2016 4Runner, Corolla and Matrix from 2010 to 2013, and the Sienna from 2011 to 2014. Lexus models, including the ES 350 from 2010 to 2012, the GX, are also covered. 460 from 2010 to 2017, the IS 250C and 350C models from 2010 to 2015, the IS 250 and 350 models from 2010 to 2013 and the IS-F model from 2010 to 2014. The Scion XB from 2010 to 2015 is also included.
Takata used chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air cushions. But the chemical can deteriorate over time due to high humidity and high to cold temperature cycles. The most dangerous inflators are in the highly humid areas of the southern Gulf of Mexico.
Toyota and Lexus dealers will replace either the inflator or the entire air bag with equipment manufactured by other manufacturers and not containing ammonium nitrate. Owners will be notified by mail or other means by the end of January.
Toyota would not say if someone was injured in vehicles covered by the last reminder.
Homeowners can check if their vehicles have been recalled by going to https://www.toyota.com/recall or https://www.airbagrecall.com and entering license plate numbers or numbers. 39, vehicle identification.
The Toyota recall is part of the progressive replacement of Takata inflators. Automakers are expected to replace 10 million from this month. Ford and Honda have already announced recalls.
More than three years after the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took over the management of recall involving Takata inflators, one-third of the recalled inflators have still not been replaced, according to an annual report by the government and a controller appointed by the court last year. The report indicates that 16.7 million defective 50 million recall inflators have not been repaired yet.
Security advocates say the completion rate should be much higher considering the danger associated with inflators.
The reminders forced the Japanese company Takata to seek protection from bankruptcy and sell most of its assets to pay for the fixes.
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