Major Car Brand Recalls 2.9 Million Cars Due To Exploding Airbags

Toyota Recalls 2.9 Million Cars Due To Exploding Airbags

FILE PHOTO: The Toyota logo seen during the 87th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Toyota has announced that it will be recalled about 2.9 million vehicles due to faulty airbag inflators.

According to Reuters, Toyota Motor Corp announced on March 30 that it will be recalling a total of about 2.9 million vehicles in Japan, China, and Oceania, among other regions. The vehicles being recalled include Toyota’s Corolla Axio sedan and its RAV4 SUV crossover.

The vehicles are being recalled due to faulty airbag inflators.

Reuters reports that Fuji Heavy Industries, which makes Subaru cars, Mitsubishi Motors, and truck maker Hino have also recalled vehicles, a total of about 240,000, due to similar problems with airbag inflators made by Takata Corp. The inflators can explode if exposed to heat for prolonged periods of time.

 At least 16 deaths have been linked to exploding Takata inflators, mainly in the United States, which has led to the biggest-ever global recall in the auto industry.

Global transport authorites consider Takata’s airbag inflators containing the chemical compound ammonium nitrate to be unsafe if used without a drying agent. Roughly 100 million Takata inflators on the market must be  withdrawn.

Toyota says that the latest recall comes following a wider recall of the inflators ordered by global transport authorities in 2016.

Recalls were issued for about 1.16 million vehicles sold in Oceania, the Middle East, and smaller markets for the company, Toyota says. About 750,000 vehicles were recalled in Japan.

Vehicles sold in North America are exempt from the latest recall, the company says.

Consumer Reports detailed the issue with the Takata inflators. The site reported, “At the heart of the problem is the airbag’s inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers, which in some cases has ignited with explosive force. If the inflator housing ruptures in a crash, metal shards from the airbag can be sprayed throughout the passenger cabin—a potentially disastrous outcome from a supposedly life-saving device.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration referred to the recall as the “largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. History.”

The NHTSA has determined that the cause of the problem is that the airbags use awn ammonium nitrate-based propellent without a chemical drying agent.

“As postulated early on, environmental moisture, high temperatures, and age as associated with the defect that can improperly inflate the airbags and even send shrapnel into the occupant,” Consumer Reports explains.

Sources: ReutersConsumer Reports / Photo Credit: Reuters