Toyota Motor Corp. will recall 543,000 more vehicles in the U.S. to replace front passenger air bags manufactured by Takata Corp., which the automaker said contain potentially fatal defects. The recall involves 12 different Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles including model year 2009 and 2012 Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles, and 2006-2009 and 2012 Lexus IS250 and IS350 sedans. The issue stems from inflator propellant in the air bags, which can degrade due to prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity or high temperatures, causing the unit to rupture when the air bag deploys.
The other vehicles recalled by Toyota are the 2008 – 2009 and 2012 Scion xB, 2007-2009 and 2012 Toyota Yaris, 2012 Toyota 4Runner and Toyota Sienna, the 2012 Lexus IS250C/350C, Lexus GX460 and LFA, 2008-2009 and 2012 Lexus IS-F, and the 2007-2009 and 2012 Lexus ES350. Toyota’s U.S. recall is part of a larger global campaign expansion involving 730,000 vehicles, 690,000 of which are located in North America. In total, Toyota has recalled 6 million vehicles in the U.S. related to the Takata airbag defect, and millions more globally. The widespread use of these possibly faulty inflators has resulted in massive recall campaigns by automakers on a global scale.
In the U.S. alone, numerous vehicle manufacturers have launched efforts to repair millions of vehicles equipped with Takata airbag inflators. For example, Toyota’s announcement came the same day Ford Motor Co. expanded its own Takata recall by 800,000, and just one day after Honda added 772,000 vehicles. In May the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered the recall of up to 40 million airbag units. The faulty airbags are linked to the death of at least 11 people in the U.S., and the injuring of at least 100 others. The announcement came several months after the agency fined Takata $70 million as part of a settlement related to the airbags, but said that amount could rise to as much as $200 million if the company does not comply with the terms of the deal.
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