Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation is recalling around 5.8 million cars all over the world over potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Takata Corporation, including those used as replacement parts following a 2010 recall.
Automakers worldwide are seeing the industry’s biggest-ever recall after Takata, a global supplier of automotive safety systems, came under pressure from US authorities earlier this year and agreed to declare more of its air bags as defective in the US and other countries.
The airbag inflators in question use a chemical compound which, after prolonged exposure to hot conditions, can explode with excessive force. The inflators have been linked to at least 16 deaths globally, mainly in the US.
Toyota’s latest recall includes the Corolla, one of the world’s best-selling models, and the Vitz or Yaris subcompact hatchback model. It covers driver-side and passenger-side airbags installed in cars produced between May 2000 and November 2001, and April 2006 and December 2014, according to the company.
The recall affects about 1.16 million Toyota vehicles sold in Japan, about 820,000 cars sold in China and around 1.47 million cars in the European market. It also extends to Central and South America, Africa, the Near and Middle East and Singapore, and also includes the Hilux pick-up truck and the Etios line of sedans and hatchbacks.
The move shows the complicated nature of the inflator recall, which began around 2008 and continues to expand.
The latest recall includes about 20,000 cars which were fitted with replacement Takata inflators following an initial 2010 recall, as the replacement parts are also seen to be at risk of exploding as they do not contain a drying agent.
Inflators without a drying agent are now considered by transport authorities around the world to be unsafe, and were ordered to be withdrawn.
Around 100 million Takata air bag inflators have been classified as defective worldwide since global transportation authorities expanded their recall from May.
Takata is seeking a financial investor to help pay for huge liabilities from the recall, and has been meeting with potential sponsors and automaker clients to discuss its survival options.