Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America with faulty air bag inflators.
The recall, which stems from the largest automotive recall in the nation’s history, includes 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S.
Owners of the following vehicles should have been notified in late January about this recall: Toyota models including the 2010 to 2016 4Runner SUV, the 2010 to 2013 Corolla and Matrix; and the 2011 to 2014 Sienna. Lexus models that are being recalled are the 2010 to 2012 ES 350, the 2010 to 2017 GX 460, the 2010 to 2015 IS 250C and 350C, the 2010 to 2013 IS 250 and 250 and the 2010 to 2014 IS F. Finally, the 2010 to 2015 Scion XB models are also included in the recall.
All these vehicles are equipped with Takata Corp.’s defective air bags. These air bags have been known to explode with so much force that the metal shrapnel is hurled into vehicle occupants in a manner that can be fatal or cause serious injuries.
So far, at least 23 people have been killed worldwide and there have also been hundreds injured.
The defect has been linked to the chemical ammonium nitrate used by Takata to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags. However, over time, the chemical can deteriorate in areas where there is high humidity and or if there are cycles from hot temperatures to cold.
To fix the problem, Toyota and Lexus dealers will replace the inflator or the entire air bag assembly. They will use equipment made by other manufacturers that does not contain ammonium nitrate.
Toyota and other manufacturers including Ford and Honda are scheduled to replace 10 million Takata inflators as part o f a phased-in replacement plan.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took over management of recalls involving Takata inflators, So far, only about a two-thirds of the 50 million recalled inflators still have been replaced leaving roughly 16.7 million faulty inflators still requiring fixing.
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