Huge Toyota airbag recall: SA cars affected

<b>NEW AIRBAG RECALL:</b> Toyota South Africa says it is recalling Lexus CT200h and Prius models due to  faulty airbags. <i>Image: Lexus</i>
<b>NEW AIRBAG RECALL:</b> Toyota South Africa says it is recalling Lexus CT200h and Prius models due to faulty airbags. <i>Image: Lexus</i>

Tokyo — Toyota is recalling 1.43 million vehicles for defective airbags and another 2.87 million vehicles for faulty fuel emissions controls.

The automaker said it has not received any reports of injuries or fatalities related to either recall. Some 932 000 vehicles are involved in both recalls, so the total number of affected vehicles is 3.37 million.

SA affected

Toyota South Africa says: "A recall campaign on the Lexus CT 200h and Toyota Prius models has been implemented by Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC).

"This is a worldwide campaign involving the fitment of retention brackets on the curtain shield airbag inflators. It has been observed that the inflator could separate and enter the cabin when a vehicle is parked and unoccupied for long periods of time.

"If this occurs while the vehicle is occupied, it could increase the risk of injury. To date, there are no reports of incidents linking the above to any injuries or fatalities. In South Africa, 261 CT 200h - produced between 2010 and 2012 - and 270 Prius - produced between 2008 and 2012 - models have been affected." 

Toyota SA says that affected CT 200h and Prius owners will be notified by a Toyota dealer to bring their vehicle in for the remedial service action. 

Toyota SA said: "Please note this is a standalone recall campaign and is not linked to any current recall campaign." 

Worldwide recall

The first recall for defective airbags affects Prius hybrids, Prius plug-ins and Lexus CT200h vehicles produced between October 2008 and April 2012 — 743 000 vehicles in Japan, 495 000 in North America, 141 000 in Europe, 9 000 in China and 46 000 in other regions.

The faulty airbags are not related to recent massive recalls of Takata airbags that have ballooned to millions of vehicles and affected nearly all major automakers. Toyota said a small crack in some inflators in the airbags on the driver and passenger sides may expand, causing the airbags to partially inflate.

The airbag manufacturer, Autoliv Inc. based in Stockholm, Sweden, said it is cooperating fully with the recall. It said in seven incidents, side curtain airbags in Prius cars partially inflated without a deployment signal. All of the cars were parked at the time with no one in them and there were no reported injuries, Autoliv said.

The cause of the defect is still under investigation. Autoliv estimated the cost of the recall to about $10 million to $40 million.

Second recall

The second recall affects various Prius models, the Auris, Corolla, Zelas, Lucas and Lexus HS250h and CT200h produced from April 2006 through August 2015 — 1.55 million vehicles in Japan, 713 000 in Europe, 35 000 in China and 568 000 elsewhere, but none in North America.

Toyota said cracks can develop in the coating of emissions control parts called the canister, possibly leading to fuel leaks.

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