Toyota reminds 1.7M vehicles in North America for repairing airbags

Toyota reminds 1.7M vehicles in North America for repairing airbags

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) – Toyota reminds 1.7 million vehicles in North America of potentially deadly Takata passenger airbags.

The move announced on Wednesday includes 1.3 million vehicles in the United States and is part of the largest series of car recall campaigns in the history of the country.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force and throw shrapnel in drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have been murdered worldwide and hundreds have been injured.

The recall includes Toyota models, including the 4Runner from 2010 to 2016, the Corolla and Matrix 2010 to 2013 and the Sienna from 2011 to 2014. Also covered are Lexus models including the 2010 to 2012 ES 350, the 2010 to 2017 GX 460 , the 2010 to 2015 IS 250C and 350C, the 2010 to 2013 IS 250 and 350 and the 2010 to 2014 IS-F. The 2010 Scion XB of 2015 is also included.

Takata used the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the airbags. But the chemical can deteriorate over time due to high humidity and cycles from high temperatures to cold temperatures. The most dangerous inflators are in areas in the south along the Gulf of Mexico with high humidity.

Toyota and Lexus dealers replace the inflator or full airbag with equipment from other manufacturers that does not contain ammonium nitrate. Owners will be notified by e-mail or in other ways at the end of January.

FILE- In this February 15, 2018, file photo the Toyota logo displayed at the Pittsburgh Auto Show. Toyota reminds 1.7 million vehicles in North America of potentially deadly Takata passenger airbags. The announcement announced Wednesday, January 9, 2019, includes 1.3 million vehicles in the United States and is part of the largest series of recalls in the history of the United States. (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar, File)

FILE- In this February 15, 2018, file photo the Toyota logo displayed at the Pittsburgh Auto Show. Toyota reminds 1.7 million vehicles in North America of potentially deadly Takata passenger airbags. The announcement announced Wednesday, January 9, 2019, includes 1.3 million vehicles in the United States and is part of the largest series of recalls in the history of the United States. (AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar, File)

Toyota would not say if someone has been injured in vehicles that fall under the latest recall.

Owners can check whether their vehicles have been recalled by going to https://www.toyota.com/recall or https://www.airbagrecall.com and entering number plate or vehicle identification numbers.

The recall of Toyota is part of a phased replacement of Takata inflators. Automakers are scheduled to replace 10 million from this month. Ford and Honda have already announced recalls.

More than three years after the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took over the management of recalls with Takata inflators, a third of the recalled inflators have still not been replaced, according to an annual report from the government and a court-appointed monitor last year . According to the report, 16.7 million defective inflators of the 50 million that have yet to be recalled have yet to be repaired.

Advocates of safety say that the completion rate must be much higher given the danger of the inflators.

The recall campaigns forced Takata from Japan to seek bankruptcy protection and sell most of its assets to pay the fixes.

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