Toyota recently announced a major air bag recall affecting around 1.7 million vehicles in North America. The defective air bags are manufactured by Takata, the same company involved in countless air bag defects and recalled announced last year. Toyota’s newest recall involves front passenger air bag inflators that can explode with great force, causing shrapnel to fly through the car. Being struck by this material can be extremely dangerous.
Takata has been in the news as recently as this past holiday season, as the company’s ongoing air bag issues have been one of the largest recalls in U.S. history. Worldwide, there have been tens of millions of vehicles that have been affected by Takata airbag defects. So far, there have been hundreds of injuries and 23 deaths reported, 15 of those within in the U.S. The airbag inflators have had issues in the past, with Honda and Acura issuing recalls last year, as well as Ford and General Motors. So far, around 37 million vehicles have been recalled in the U.S. alone.
This airbag recall announcement from Toyota adds to the list, and has affected the following models:
- Toyota 4Runner (model years 2010-2016)
- Toyota Corolla and Matrix (model years 2010-2013)
- Toyota Sienna (model years 2011-2014)
Lexus and Scion also have models affected, including:
- ES 350 (model years 2010-2012)
- GX 460 (model years 2010-2017)
- IS 250C and 350C (model years 2010-2015)
- IS 250 and 350 (model years 2010-2013)
- IS-F (model year 2010)
- Scion XB (model years 2010-2015)
Geographic location plays a role in the defect, as areas of higher humidity are most likely to be affected – especially in the South and along the Gulf of Mexico. When manufacturing the air bags, Takata used a chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air in the bags. But over time, the chemical can deteriorate due to high humidity and sudden changes in temperature.
With this particular recall, Toyota and Lexus dealers will either replace the inflator or the entire air bag assembly. Owners of affected vehicles should receive a notification about the recall later this month, but if you’re concerned that your Toyota, Lexus or Scion has been affected you should reach out to a dealership to confirm whether it has been included.