Over 240 000 SA cars affected by global recall to fix airbags
THE South African owners of more than 240 000 Toyota, Nissan and Honda models are likely to be affected by the global vehicle recall programmes launched by the three Japanese motor manufacturers related to potentially defective airbags.
This is at least the second time since 2013 that local vehicle owners have been affected by a recall programme related to airbags supplied by Takata Corporation of Japan, the second largest global supplier of airbags and seatbelts. The massive global recall programme follows at least five deaths and dozens of injuries linked to the Takata-supplied airbags.
There have not been any reports of any deaths or injuries in South Africa. It was previously reported that the airbags had inflators that could explode, expelling shards of metal and plastic.
Honda Motor Company yesterday extended its global recall programme by a further almost 5-million vehicles worldwide.
This latest move by Honda Motor Company, Japan’s third largest automaker, brought the overall global total of vehicles recalled for Takata-related air bags to about 36 million since 2008, and came a day after Toyota Motor Corporation and Nissan Motor Company recalled 6.5 million vehicles worldwide.
Takata airbags are used by many automakers, but Honda was the worst affected.
Joeline Dabrowski, a spokesperson for Honda Motors Southern Africa, said she was unable to respond to any detailed questions, because at this stage the company did not have any details from its head office regarding South Africa.
Honda Motors Southern Africa in 2013 recalled 1 047 Honda Civic units manufactured between 2001 and 2003 and 121 Honda CR-V models manufactured between 2002 and 2003 as a precautionary measure because of potentially faulty airbags.
Clynton Yon, a Toyota South Africa spokesman, yesterday confirmed that in line with Toyota Motor Corporation’s global policy, it had initiated a recall campaign to replace Takata produced front airbag inflators in a total of 224 006 models. Of this total, 195 630 Corolla, Yaris and Run-X models manufactured between 2002 and 2007 were being recalled.
A further 28 376 RAV4, Hilux and Fortuner models manufactured between July 2003 and December 2005 were being recalled.
Yon said the recall campaign would commence once all the required components were available at local Toyota dealers, with affected owners notified by a Toyota dealer to bring their vehicle in for the service action.
The replacement of the component would take one to two hours at no cost to the owner, he said.
Thabo Smouse, a Nissan South Africa spokesman, said the recall in South Africa affected only one model, the 17 495 Nissan Almeras produced in the Rosslyn plant from 2004 until the end of production in 2007. Smouse stressed the recall was a precautionary safety measure and no cases had been reported related to the faulty airbags.
He said Nissan SA was in the process of identifying the affected vehicles through the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) and customers would thereafter be contacted by Nissan dealers to replace the inflators on all the affected vehicles.
Smouse said Nissan planned to begin notifying customers from next month.
“Once affected customers have been notified, they will be asked to visit their nearest Nissan dealership where the replacement process will take between an hour and three hours. There will not be any replacement cost to the customer,” he said.