One of Australia’s most popular manufacturers has issued a recall that could take cars off the road just before the Christmas travel period.
Toyota has recalled nearly 83,000 cars to replace Takata airbags that could potentially pose a risk to motorists and passengers.
The cars in question were part of the original global recall and were fitted with new Takata airbags which must now be removed. More than 100 million Takata airbags have been recalled after discovering that the airbag assembly can deteriorate with age and rupture in an accident, sending shrapnel flying around the cabin. More than 30 deaths have been linked to the defect.
At the time of the recall, the demand for replacement airbags was so high that manufacturers replaced the defective airbags with newer versions of the same design. Airbags are not dangerous when new, but deteriorate over time, especially in hot and humid environments.
Toyota says more than 62,000 Corollas built between 2001 and 2007 are at the heart of the recall, along with nearly 17,000 Yaris sedans (built between 2006 and 2008) and 2,000 Avensis cars (2001-2003), plus around 1,500 Corolla sedans manufactured. between 2003 and 2005, and 23 other examples of Corollas manufactured between 2007 and 2011.
The ACCC says the vehicles in question have more modern Takata inflators which “must now be replaced with a non-Takata alternative”.
The recall notice advises owners “to stop driving the vehicle and immediately make arrangements for the replacement of the airbag, as the vehicle presents an increased risk of causing injury or death.”
Toyota has also found a flaw in the security system of its latest HiLux ute.
The manufacturer claims that a problem in the occupant detection system of the HiLux WorkMate and SR chassis cab models means that “the front passenger airbag may not inflate in a crash.”
The problem stems from improperly calibrated equipment designed to detect whether a passenger is sitting in the seat, triggering the airbags in the event of a crash.
Some models may not be able to recognize the presence of a passenger.
A relatively small number of vehicles are affected by the issue, which is unrelated to widespread recalls of Takata airbags.
Toyota says only 1,365 cars in Australia are expected to have the issue resolved, and that they were all built between August 23 and October 27 of this year.
Owners of affected models will be contacted by the manufacturer.
Toyota says the problem can be fixed in 30 minutes at no cost to customers.
Customers can call the Toyota callback hotline at 1800 987 366 for more information.