Toyota Recalls 1.3 Million Cars in the U.S. Over Exploding Airbag Issue

Scion XB included in the list of recalled vehicles in the U.S. 1 photo
Photo: Toyota
For years now, the automotive industry has been struggling with what has become the largest safety issue in the history of motoring: a defective airbag system manufactured by Japanese company Takata. To date, more than 42 million vehicles have been affected in the U.S. alone, and the problem still is not solved.
The huge number of cars already recalled is about to get a lot bigger starting this January after Toyota announced it is adding an extra 1.3 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles to the list in the United States.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Toyota said the affected vehicles are as follows: 2010-2016 4Runner, 2010-2013 Corolla, 2010-2013 Matrix, 2011-2014 Sienna, 2010-2015 Scion XB, 2010-2012 Lexus ES 350, 2010-2017 Lexus GX 460, 2010-2015 Lexus IS 250C, 2010-2015 Lexus IS 350C, 2010-2013 Lexus IS 250, 2010-2013 Lexus IS 350 and 2010-2014 Lexus IS-F.

All of the above mentioned car models are using Takata airbag systems which contain ammonium nitrate propellant. This substance can get degraded over time after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high-temperature cycling.

If degradation occurs, the propellant could effectively make the airbag explode, sending sharp metal fragments could through the cabin, directly at the driver and passengers, thus “increasing the risk of serious injury or death.”

Toyota will begin notifying owners of the recall later this month. Once the cars get into the workshops, depending on the findings, either the front passenger airbag inflator or airbag assembly as a whole will be replaced. All the repairs will be made at no cost for the owners.

Takata, one of the world's biggest manufacturer of airbag systems, first identified and reported the problem in 2013, saying the issue affected six car makes. It soon became clear however that Takata had no idea how many other vehicles and brands were affected.

The full details of Toyota’s latest safety recall can be found in the document attached below.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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