Toyota on Wednesday issued a follow-up recall to replace defective Takata airbag inflators—again—on 65,000 vehicles. This time, however, Toyota said that it will replace the inflators with new units produced by another third-party supplier.
The automaker announced the recall on Wednesday, which affects certain 2003-2005 model year Corolla compact sedans, 2002-2005 model year Sequoia SUVs, 2003-2005 model year Tundra pickup trucks, and 2002-2005 model year Lexus SC 430 convertibles. Toyota said the vehicles were previously involved in a separate recall where the automaker installed new Takata inflators as a remedy. However, the replacement inflators may still feature a safety defect due to propellant degradation after prolonged exposure to humidity and heat.
Like other cases in the long-running Takata airbag recall fiasco, the inflator could rupture, and in the event of a crash, the airbag may shoot shrapnel at the driver and passenger, which increases the risk of serious injury or death.
Takata was previously the largest airbag supplier for automakers, but the massive recall and scandal affected over 30 million vehicles at the beginning of 2018. Since then, Takata has filed for bankruptcy and was absorbed by rival airbag component supplier, Key Safety Systems. The inflator defect has caused at least 20 deaths and 180 injuries. The company was also fined $1 billion and three top executives have been convicted of falsifying data that led to the defect.
As for the Toyota and Lexus vehicles, owners should receive notice of the new recall beginning in early January. The new non-Takata inflator will be installed free-of-charge for owners.