Toyota Australia has announced a recall for RAV4 and Echo models built in the early 2000s over concerns about the driver's side airbag assembly.
The recall affects 260 RAV4 models built between July and August 2003, as well as approximately 8000 Echo models built between December 2002 and September 2003.
According to a statement from the Japanese company's local arm, "the recall is due to the possibility that the front driver's airbag may have been assembled with humidity-affected propellant wafers".
What that means, according to Toyota, is that if the driver's airbag deploys during a collision, "the inner pressure of the inflator assembly could increase abnormally and the inflator body could rupture".
"The ruptured inflator may create metallic projectile fragments that could contact an occupant, increasing the risk of injury," the statement reads.
Toyota Australia confirmed that no incidents or accidents of this nature have occurred locally, though owners are being notified by mail to arrange an appointment at a dealership where the steering wheel airbag will be replaced at no cost. The repair is predicted to take one hour.
The Toyota recall is related to the widespread Takata airbag recall that has forced millions of vehicles to be recalled in the US and other parts of the world. Indeed, the company recalled 2000-2004 Corolla and Avensis Verso models, along with the Lexus SC430, in Australia earlier this year.
Locally, there have been multiple recalls for Takata airbag issues; the most recent of which affected the Nissan Micra city car, with 12,859 cars were affected.
In total, more than 100,000 vehicles from BMW, Honda, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota have been recalled in Australia to address the defect with the airbags sourced from Japanese manufacturer Takata.