Earlier this month, we heard reports that Takata would soon expand the recall of its fatally flawed airbags by as many as 40 million devices. Without waiting for Takata to act, Honda quickly enlarged its recall by some 20 million.
Now, Toyota has announced its own expanded recall plan, affecting nearly 1.6 million Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles in the U.S.
The recall is limited to front passenger-side airbag inflators. Like similar, driver-side devices, those inflators use ammonium nitrate, which can be destabilized when exposed to heat and moisture. That, in turn, can cause the airbags to explode upon deployment, sending hot shrapnel flying through the vehicle. Takata airbags have been linked to at least 11 deaths and hundreds of injuries around the globe over the past several years.
The new Toyota recall affects 1,584,000 vehicles registered in America--vehicles that haven't yet been recalled to replace driver-side inflators. The expansion includes:
- 2010 - 2011 Toyota 4Runner
- 2009 - 2011 Toyota Corolla
- 2009 - 2011 Toyota Matrix
- 2011 Toyota Sienna
- 2006 - 2011 Toyota Yaris
- 2008 - 2011 Scion xB
- 2007 - 2011 Lexus ES
- 2010 – 2011 Lexus GX
- 2006 – 2011 Lexus IS
Toyota says that it will notify owners of those vehicles by mail. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their vehicles to an appropriate dealership for service, where the airbag inflator or airbag assembly will be replaced, free of charge.
If you own one of the vehicles listed above and have further question, you're encouraged to contact Toyota Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Service at 1-800-255-3987. You can also visit toyota.com/recall and enter your vehicle identification number. You can run a similar search at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, safercar.gov/vin.