Toyota announces global recall over non-deploying airbags
WASHINGTON - Toyota announced on Tuesday that it will recall 3.4 million vehicles worldwide because of an electronic defect that could result in airbags not deploying in crashes.
The recall, which includes 2.9 million US vehicles, covers 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid vehicles, and is tied to a report of one fatal crash.
The recalled vehicles may have an electronic control unit that does not have adequate protection against electrical noise that can occur in crashes, which could lead to incomplete or non-deployment of the airbags. It could also impede the operation of seat-belt pretensioners.
But are any South African cars involved?
Our contact at Toyota SA said the local division has been informed about the recall by its parent company TMC, however the local division it still awaiting confirmation from the carmaker on whether any SA models are affected. This will be subject to an investigation by TMC.
Toyota SA also pointed out that there are many campaigns on USA spec vehicles that aren’t relevant to other countries, including SA, due to their different specification levels.
US authority expands airbag probe
In April, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded a probe into 12.3 million potentially defective airbags covering a number of car companies, including the vehicles Toyota is recalling.
NHTSA said in April that it had identified two frontal crash events, including one fatal crash "involving Toyota products where (electrical overstress) is suspected as the likely cause" of airbags not deploying. Both involved newer Corolla models.
NHTSA said the airbags under investigation were installed in more than 12 million vehicles from 2010 through 2019 sold by Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi.
They were equipped with an airbag control unit initially produced by TRW Automotive Holdings, which is now owned by ZF Friedrichshafen.
In total, NHTSA said as many as eight deaths could be tied to the issue.
Hyundai, Kia and Fiat Chrysler previously issued recalls for more than 2.5 million vehicles with the TRW airbag control units in question that might not deploy in crashes.
When it recalled nearly 2 million vehicles for air bag non-deployments in 2016, Fiat Chrysler said it had reports of three deaths and five injuries that might be related to the defect.
Hyundai and Kia ultimately recalled more than 1 million vehicles for airbag non-deployment concerns in 2018. Hyundai and Kia in 2018 said they had reports of four deaths and six injuries in North America tied to the issue.
Toyota dealers will install a noise filter between the airbag control module and its wire harness if needed.
Toyota declined to say how many deaths or injuries have been tied to the defect. Toyota will notify vehicle owners of the recall by mid-March.
Reuters & IOL