Toyota Announces Problem With Airbags, 1.4 Vehicles Recalled

On Wednesday, Toyota Motors announced a recall of more than 1.4 million vehicles across the globe over a possible faulty airbag. However, it said that the components that were in question were not made by Takata, the supplier of airbags at the center of the biggest safety recall in car industry history.

Toyota did not give the name of its supplier for the airbags that are causing the recall. Keeping the names of suppliers private is common practice amongst carmakers; Takata for example was named only after the severity of scale of the problems caused intense scrutiny by the public.

In another separate announcement, Toyota said it would be recalling 2.87 million of its vehicles around the world over issues with the fuel tank.

The latest recall by Toyota accompanies the heightened anxiety of consumers over airbag safety.

Automakers have had to recall more than 60 million vehicles in just the United States and some tens of millions across the globe to fix the airbag problem cause by Takata, which like Toyota is a Japanese company.

The faulty equipment of Takata has been linked to at least 14 deaths as well as over 100 injuries. The president of Takata on Tuesday said he planned on resigning.

The big problem Takata has with its airbags is the inflators, or the metal capsules that are loaded with a strong propellant that force the deployment of airbags almost instantly during a crash

The inflators used by Takata can rupture very violently, sending pieces of shrapnel flying toward the driver and the passengers.

One of Wednesday’s recalls also involved inflators of airbags. That recall covers two hybrid models the Lexus CT200h and the Prius made from 2010 to 2012.

The inflators in the airbags of the two models have a slight crack in their weld, said Toyota.

The fault could mean that the airbags inflate unexpectedly and send pieces of the inflator into the vehicle’s cabin area.

Toyota said that the risk of problems was the highest when inflators were exposed to a high amount of humidity, which is a factor that had become implicated in the defect with Takata.

Toyota announced that an error in manufacturing was the cause of the problems and not a design problem. The company announced it was not aware of an injury or any death related to these recent issues.

The other recall on Wednesday covered a possible problem with a mechanism used in fuel tanks that can release fuel that is evaporated.

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David Glass

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