Toyota, Nissan Add 6.5 Million Vehicles To Takata Airbag Recall; Honda Expected To Follow Suit

Just when you think carmakers have recalled the last of the vehicles equipped with Takata airbags that could spew shrapnel when deployed, more cars are added to that list. Today, Toyota and Nissan expanded their already massive recalls to include an additional 6.5 million vehicles, while Honda has plans to do the same.

The New York Times reports that both Toyota and Nissan say the newly expanded recalls are precautionary and that no accidents or injuries had been reported in the specific vehicles.

In all, Toyota says its latest initiative to get vehicles equipped with Takata-produced airbags off the road includes one new recall and two expansions totaling about 5 million cars worldwide.

The new recall involves about 160,000 model year 2004 and 2005 RAV4 SUVs in the U.S. The expanded recalls include 177,000 model year 2003 and 2004 Tundra pickups and model year 2004 Sequoia SUVs, as well as 300,000 model year 2005 to 2007 Corollas, Matrixes, Sequoias, and Lexus SCs that are in areas of high humidity such as Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Hawaii and some American territories, USA Today reports.

The remaining Toyota vehicles being recalled are located in Europe and Japan.

Toyota tells the Times that the expanded recalls followed an examination of Takata airbags, in which “certain types of airbag inflators were found to have a potential for moisture intrusion over time,” which could result in the inflators not working properly in a crash.

Investigators for Toyota have been testing used vehicles with Takata airbags to determine if the inflators are airtight. If the test revealed that a certain inflator wasn’t airtight, then the company decided to recall the related inflators, a spokesperson tells the Times.

However, the company says it was still uncertain about why the airbags have failed, because the relationship between moisture and inflator rupture is still unknown.

For its part, Nissan is recalling about 1.56 million cars globally because of the same Takata issues. The automaker did not elaborate on exactly what models are affected by the recall.

The likelihood that the latest round of recalls could grow is strong, with Honda telling the Times that it is also preparing to issue new recalls, but didn’t offer details on which vehicles might be involved.

To date, 10 automakers have recalled more than 30 million vehicles equipped with Takata-produced airbags that have been linked to six deaths and more than 100 injuries.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to make a decision soon on how to proceed with its investigation into Japanese automaker Takata and its airbags.

Regulators first opened an investigation into the issue in June 2014 after automakers began recalling millions of vehicles.

In February, the agency began fining the company $14,000 per day for failing to turn over documents and answer questions. Investigators said the fine was a result Takata’s slow pace in working with the agency.

A week later, NHTSA upgraded its probe to an engineering analysis. The regulators said the formal step intensifies the investigation and could help determine whether the company’s failure to quickly notify the agency of possible defects violated federal law or regulations.

Shortly after that, Takata said that it would double its production of replacement airbags over the next six months.

Toyota and Nissan Recall 6.5 Million More Vehicles Over Takata Airbags [The New York Times]
Toyota, Nissan add 6.5 million cars to air bag recall [USA Today]

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