Toyota will recall 1.6 million vehicles located in Japan to replace potentially faulty inflators from Takata Corp. These inflators had previously been recalled and determined to be safe; the reason for Toyota’s change of mind isn’t clear, but is perhaps a wise move given the potentially fatal results when the airbags are faulty. Toyota isn’t the first automaker to backtrack on a recall decision; earlier this month, Nissan also re-issued recalls in Japan over Takata inflators.
Takata has been the cause of a long and unprecedented recall encompassing several major auto makers in the US and beyond, and it was recently hit with a record fine as a result. At the heart of the matter are faulty airbag inflators, which when exposed to humidity can cause an airbag to deploy with too much force, potentially injuring the driver and passengers. Eight deaths have been linked to the issue.
According to Reuters, Toyota and other auto makers previously inspected the inflators using ammonium nitrate to see whether the inflators had any air leaks. The inflators in these recalled vehicles had previously passed the test and had been determined safe.
The first recalls for these vehicles took place in May and June of this year. The vehicles were made between 2004 and 2008; details on which models are affected wasn’t detailed, though Reuters mentions the Vitz compact is involved. Whether this will lead to any new recalls outside of Japan isn’t clear at this time.