Toyota Australia has issued an urgent recall on a further 6260 Corollas fitted with potentially deadly Takata airbags after two serious injuries were caused by the faulty devices in a crash in Sydney in late August.
The latest recall adds 5475 examples of the ZZE122 Corolla, and 785 examples of the ZZE123 Sportivo variant. Affected vehicles were sold between 30 April, 2003 and 30 September, 2004 (MY2003–2005).
A statement from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said: "In late August in Sydney, two passengers suffered injuries including burns and cuts by flying metal shrapnel from a (Takata) passenger airbag which misdeployed when a 2004 Toyota Corolla rear-ended another vehicle."
The ACCC said the vehicles were already under voluntary recall for the driver’s side airbag, however Toyota has recently advised the affected vehicles also contain Takata passenger airbags which are subject to the current compulsory recall.
There have been at least 29 deaths and more than 320 injuries associated with Takata airbags worldwide. In Australia, there has been one death and one serious injury directly attributed to the devices – as well as another death and at least three serious injuries suspected of being caused by faulty Takata airbags.
The recall notice, lodged with the ACCC says “as [the airbag inflator] gets older, a combination of high temperatures and humidity can cause the airbag inflator propellant to degrade.”
“In the event that a defective airbag inflator ruptures, metal fragments may propel out through the airbag cushion towards the vehicle occupants causing serious injury or fatality.”
A spokesperson for Toyota Australia told CarAdvice "out of 582,781 Toyota and Lexus vehicles affected by the Takata recalls, we have replaced 532,277, or 91.3 per cent."
"We have recently expanded our Takata compulsory recall to include an additional 6260 vehicles. This is a global airbag safety recall – the involved outstanding passenger vehicles were not originally allocated to Australia and have since been added."
Many of the same vehicle were recalled in 2017 with a similar airbag fault, however, at the time, Toyota told CarAdvice this was not Takata related.
A full list of vehicle identification numbers for the 6260 cars involved in the most recent recall can be found here.
To have your vehicle checked, find your closest Toyota dealership by clicking here.
Beta type airbags are considered less dangerous than the Alpha variants, however are considerably more prevalent and still pose a risk to occupants in the case of an accident – in 2019 the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) lobbied state and territory governments to ban the registration of all vehicles fitted with such devices until they were replaced.
Earlier this year two passengers in Sydney were injured by flying metal shrapnel from a deployed airbag, after their 2004 Toyota Corolla rear-ended another vehicle.