Toyota recalls 1.7M vehicles in North America to fix air bags
Tom Krisher, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, January 9, 2019 2:30PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 10, 2019 3:05PM EST
DETROIT -- Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America to replace potentially deadly Takata front passenger air bag inflators.
The move announced Wednesday includes 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. and is part of the largest series of automotive recalls in the nation's history.
Takata inflators can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have been killed worldwide and hundreds have been injured.
The recall covers Toyota models including the 2010 through 2016 4Runner, the 2010 through 2013 Corolla and Matrix, and the 2011 through 2014 Sienna. Also covered are Lexus models including the 2010 through 2012 ES 350, the 2010 through 2017 GX 460, the 2010 through 2015 IS 250C and 350C, the 2010 through 2013 IS 250 and 350 and the 2010 through 2014 IS-F. The 2010 through 2015 Scion XB also is included.
Dealers will either replace the inflator or the entire air bag assembly. Owners will be notified by mail or other means in late January.
Toyota wouldn't say if anyone has been injured in vehicles covered by the latest recall.
Owners can check to see if their vehicles have been recalled by going to toyota.ca and entering their Vehicle Identification Numbers.
Toyota's recall is part of a phased-in replacement of Takata inflators. Automakers are scheduled to replace 10 million starting this month. Ford and Honda have already announced recalls.
More than three years after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took over management of recalls involving Takata inflators, one third of the recalled inflators still have not been replaced, according to an annual report from the government and a court-appointed monitor last year. The report says 16.7 million faulty inflators out of 50 million under recall have yet to be fixed.
Safety advocates say the completion rate should be far higher given the danger associated with the inflators.
The recalls forced Takata of Japan to seek bankruptcy protection and sell most of its assets to pay for the fixes.
The inflators use the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags. But the chemical can deteriorate over time due to high humidity and cycles from hot temperatures to cold. The most dangerous inflators are in areas of the South along the Gulf of Mexico that have high humidity.
List of vehicles in Canada under the current recall
Passenger Side Airbag Inflator:
- 2003-2013 Toyota Corolla
- 2003-2014 Toyota Matrix
- 2003-2006 Toyota Tundra
- 2002-2007 Toyota Sequoia
- 2002-2010 Lexus SC430
- 2006-2011 Toyota Yaris Hatchback
- 2007-2012 Toyota Yaris Sedan
- 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner
- 2011-2014 Toyota Sienna
- 2010-2015 Scion xB
- 2006-2013 Lexus IS250/350
- 2010-2015 Lexus IS250C/350C
- 2008-2014 Lexus IS-F
- 2007-2012 Lexus ES350
- 2012 Lexus LFA
- 2010-2017 Lexus GX460
Driver Side Airbag Inflator:
- 2004-2005 Toyota RAV4