OVER 4000 COROLLAS AFFECTED: Toyota SA reports that 4349 Corollas were affected by its June 2014 recall. Image: MotorPress/Toyota SA/
WASHINGTON - US authorities on Monday (Oct 20 2014) urged owners of vehicles with potentially deadly defective Takata air bags to seek repairs as Toyota recalled approximately 247 000 vehicles because of the part flaw.
The recall also involves Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and General Motors’ products equipped with the same air bags.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a bulletin to owners of 4.7-million vehicles made by Toyota and the five other automakers highlighting an apparently higher level of danger from the faulty air bags for car owners in areas with high humidity.
The NHTSA said: "The message comes with urgency, especially for owners of vehicles affected by the regional recalls in Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii."
The bag could improperly inflate and rupture, potentially sending shrapnel into the car's occupants.
Honda has the most vehicles covered by the recall at roughly 2.8-million. Toyota has 778 000, followed by BMW at 574 000.
The high-profile alert came as Toyota Motor Sales US said it was recalling Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia, Tundra and Lexus cars, sport utility vehicles and pick-ups produced from 2001 to 2004 to replace the air bag inflator for the front passenger seat.
Toyota expanded on an earlier airbag-related recall especially to include vehicles in high humidity areas, including southern Florida, Gulf Coast states, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, where the vehicles "appear to warrant immediate action" based on testing by Takata.
NO INJURIES OR FATALITIES
According to Toyota, Takata is still testing whether high humidity is an important factor in the problem.
Toyota said it had received no reports yet of injuries or fatalities related to the airbag problem.
Still, the seriousness of the risk to occupants of the front seat was underscored in the company's details on the recall process. If a replacement inflator part is not available when the vehicle is brought in for servicing, the dealer will temporarily disable the front passenger bag.
Automakers that have issued recalls:
'Exploding' bags: GM halts Cruze sales
Toyota recall: Over 4000 SA Corollas affected
'Exploding' air bags: Honda SA issues recall
'Exploding' airbags: Nissan Mazda issue recalls
'Exploding' airbags: 2-million Hondas recalled