The growing Takata airbag recall saga continues, with Toyota Australia today announcing a recall of about 181,000 vehicles — a campaign that is also set to involve fellow Japanese brand Nissan’s local subsidiary.
And due to the massive scale of the recall, Toyota’s Australian arm will not be able to get the supplied parts to fix faulty airbags for some time, potentially not until early 2016 based on current estimates.
The Toyota campaign affects 75,119 Corollas, 44,812 Yaris’, 4615 Avensis Versos, 27,444 Echos and 28,945 RAV4 vehicles made between 2003 and 2007. The recall issue is to do with airbags made by Japanese manufacturer Takata — a company that supplies about 20 per cent of the world’s airbags.
Depending on the vehicle, either the driver's or passenger's airbag inflators may be susceptible to steady moisture intrusion. If this happens, it could potentially make the inflator assembly prone to rupture during an accident.
There have been no incidents or injuries reported in Australia as a result of this condition, Toyota stresses.
Replacement parts are presently being produced but, due to the number of vehicles impacted globally, it is anticipated that sufficient parts will not be available to commence recall repairs until early next year.
“When parts are available, all affected vehicle owners will again be advised by mail and asked to take their vehicle to any authorised Toyota dealer,” the company said.
“Depending on the vehicle, either the driver's or passenger's airbag inflator will be replaced free of charge. The replacement will take approximately 1.5 hours.”
For background, Toyota Australia previously announced a recall for airbag inflators on some of these vehicle models, but applying to different production date ranges. This means that none of the vehicles announced in today's recall were impacted in the previous campaigns.
Today’s announcement is Toyota’s biggest Australian recall since April 2014, when it recalled about 300,000 HiLux and Yaris vehicles over spiral cables and seat rails respectively. It also recalled about 300,000 in October 2012 over a power window master switch.
Meantime Nissan Australia said it expected to recall a number of vehicles here, as part of a global campaign on about 1.56 million of its vehicles. The exact number is still being calculated.
It is understood this recall could follow on in nature from an amended 2013/14 campaign that involved 25,941 N16 Pulsar, Y61 Patrol, D22 Navara, A33 Maxima and T30 X-Trail vehicles built between April 2001 and June 2003.
The amended campaigns are understood to be based on Takata research into which of its supplied airbag components are affected.
According to Reuters, Takata now faces multiple class action lawsuits in the United States and Canada as well as a US criminal investigation and a regulatory probe.
For further information, Toyota owners can contact the Toyota recall campaign helpline on 1800 987 366 or visit www.toyota.com.au.