April 11, 2013
Toyota Issues Airbag Recall, Following Honda And Nissan
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Toyota issued a new recall due to airbags that could deploy abnormally due to malfunctioning inflators. Japanese safety gear producer Takata Corp. manufactured the defective airbags for Toyota, as well as Honda and Nissan, Bloomberg News reports. Both of the latter auto manufacturers have already issued recalls to replace the defective airbags.
Takata Corp produced airbags for Toyota from 2000 to 2002. The recall affects Toyota models Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Sequoia and Tundra, as well as the Lexus SC 430 models manufactured from 2001 to 2003, according to USA Today.
In the US, Toyota will recall 170,000 vehicles to inspect for defects. However, Toyota may have to inspect 510,000 vehicles in order to pinpoint those mistakes, USA Today said. The recall for Toyota could total 1.73 million cars. In the UK, the total could be 76,000, according to the Telegraph. Worldwide, the recall for Toyota, Honda and Nissan involves three million vehicles. Mazda was also named in an article discussing the recalls on CNN Money. For individual manufacturers, the recall could be 1.14 million for Honda; 480,000 for Nissan, and 45,463 for Mazda. All recalls were issued for incorrect inflation of passenger side airbags.
"It is possible that passenger front airbag inflators in affected vehicles may deploy with too much pressure, which may cause the inflator casing to rupture and could result in injury," Honda said in a statement.
Honda identified one crash in which a passenger front airbag casing had ruptured after being deployed with too much pressure, CNN Money said. Honda said it was not aware of any injuries or deaths that have occurred as a result of the defect.
A Toyota spokesperson said the recall was based on five cases of airbags inflating incorrectly in Japan and the US. Though the malfunction was identified, no injuries resulted in the deployment.
Excessive pressure produced by passenger side airbags could cause the metal inflator component to rupture, causing small shards to be propelled from the airbag. There is a potential to cause injury, a Honda UK spokesperson said, in the Telegraph article.
Already this year, Toyota and Honda issued a recall of 1.5 million vehicles for faulty airbags. Last year air bags were the cause of 22 recalls across 18 auto manufacturers.
For Takada, this is the biggest recall since 1995. At that time, a group of automakers recalled close to nine million vehicles. In 1995, the recall was to replace faulty seatbelts. The company's stocks fell 9 percent to close at 1,819 yen in Tokyo. Takada says it is the second-largest maker of automotive safety parts. Autiliv, the world's largest maker of airbags, saw a 1.6 percent increase in Stockholm, according to Bloomberg.
"It looks like the cost of the recalls may be pretty big," said Satoru Takada, an analyst at the Tokyo-based Toward the Infinite World, in the USA Today article. "It doesn't seem like something that would be easy to identify and fix. But if the cause is clear, it shouldn't have a lasting effect."