Toyota recalls 20-year-old cars for airbag defect

January 27, 2020

Toyota is recalling older model RAV4, Celica, and Supra models for an airbag defect that could cause the inflators to rupture or the airbag to underinflate, thereby increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

The automaker's announcement on Monday echoed one from Honda, who last week recalled 2.4 million older vehicles for the same issue. 

Toyota's recall of 138,842 older vehicles is due to a similarly-sounding defect in Takata-supplied airbags. The recalled vehicles were equipped with non-azide driver airbag inflators (NADI) that can absorb moisture, especially in warm, humid areas, and deform over time. In the event of a crash, the airbags may deploy abnormally. Toyota didn't list any known injuries related to crashes but said in paperwork filed with the NHTSA that it was conducting the recall "out of an abundance of caution."

The affected vehicles include:

1997-1998 Toyota Supra

1998-1999 Toyota Celica

1998-2000 Toyota RAV4

1998-1999 Toyota RAV4 EV

The Toyota and Honda recall is separate from the ongoing Takata airbag recall, which is the largest and costliest in automotive history, affecting more than 40 million vehicles from all major automakers and resulting in at least 16 deaths. 

Toyota will notify customers of the recall by March 22. Owners may visit Toyota's recall page or contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371 and reference recall numbers 20TB01 and 20TA01.

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