Toyota recalling 190,000 cars as more Takata airbags fail

Tom Beck
Toyota has been hit by problems with airbags made by Takata

Leading Japanese car manufacturer Toyota yesterday announced that it was recalling 190,000 cars, mostly in Japan, because of potentially defective airbags produced by Takata.

This adds to Takata’s recall count, which was already at about 10.5m in the past five years.

Takata’s airbags have been hit by accusations that they explode too forcefully, and spray debris upon their release. The defects have been linked to five people in Malaysia and the US losing their lives.

The vehicles being recalled were produced between September 2002 and December 2003, and are the same model year as a car that had its airbags explode in a scrapyard last month. Japan’s transport ministry has stated that it is considering a revision of its recall system, given its massive scale. However, the ministry did not give specific information as to which changes will be made.

In addition, the industry’s head of recall division, Masato Sahashi, insisted that he did not want to start making changes to the recall system, which “would take as long as a month or two”, and instead will recall the cars right away. The ministry also advised other automakers to check whether their vehicles were affected.

Toyota said it would either replace the front passenger-side airbag inflator for recalled cars, or disable the passenger seat airbag and advise against sitting in the seat if replacement air­bags were not readily available.

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