Date
26 February 2020
Toyota's latest recall over an airbag issue includes 2.9 million US vehicles. Photo: Bloomberg
Toyota's latest recall over an airbag issue includes 2.9 million US vehicles. Photo: Bloomberg

Toyota to recall 3.4 mln vehicles worldwide over airbag issue

Toyota Motor announced on Tuesday that it will recall 3.4 million vehicles worldwide because of an electronic defect that can result in air bags not deploying in crashes, Reuters reports.

The recall, which includes 2.9 million US vehicles, covers 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid vehicles, according to the report.

The vehicles may have an electronic control unit that does not have adequate protection against electrical noise that can occur in crashes, which could lead to incomplete or non-deployment of the air bags. It could also impede the operation of seat-belt pre-tensioners.

In April, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded a probe into 12.3 million potentially defective air bags covering a number of automakers, including the vehicles Toyota is recalling.

NHTSA said in April it had identified two frontal crash events, including one fatal crash “involving Toyota products where (electrical overstress) is suspected as the likely cause” of air bags not deploying. Both involved newer Corolla cars.

According to the agency, the air bags under investigation were installed in more than 12 million vehicles from 2010 through 2019 sold by Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Honda Motor, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Mitsubishi.

In total, NHTSA said as many as eight deaths could be tied to the issue.

Hyundai, Kia and Fiat Chrysler previously issued recalls for more than 2.5 million vehicles with the TRW air bag control units in question that might not deploy in crashes.

When it recalled nearly 2 million vehicles for air bag non-deployments in 2016, Fiat Chrysler said it had reports of three deaths and five injuries that might be related to the defect.

Hyundai and Kia said in 2018 that they had reports of four deaths and six injuries in North America tied to the issue.

Toyota dealers will install a noise filter between the air bag control module and its wire harness if needed to address the problem.

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