Toyota Recalls 650,000 Vehicles for Faulty Airbags

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Today, Toyota announced an expansion to a recall which originally occurred in April 2013. The newly expanded recall affects an additional 650,000 vehicles in Japan, bringing the overall total to 2.27 million vehicles over the past year.

The recall deals with faulty front passenger airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation, a Japanese-based company which supplies airbags and other safety features to multiple car brands, including Honda, Nissan, and BMW.

Toyota released a statement in which they explained that the recall was necessary due to the airbags being constructed with faulty propellants: "Improperly manufactured propellant wafers could cause the inflator to rupture and the front passenger airbag to deploy abnormally in the event of a crash." An abnormal deployment of such a propellant wafer could result in a small fire or the passenger being struck by metal shrapnel, leading to multiple injuries.

The situation was supposedly taken care of when Toyota announced the recall of 1,830,000 vehicles last April. However, after further investigations were conducted, Toyota discovered that Takata Corp. had given them an unfinished list of serial numbers listing the affected parts.

The new recall affects several Toyota models - the 2003-4 Toyota Corolla, Matrix and Tundra, the 2002-4 Sequoia sport utility vehicle and the 2002-4 Lexus SC 430 luxury coupe.

In order to ensure that another recall is not needed in the near future, Toyota has decided to take a more holistic approach toward solving the problem: "We have judged that it is more certain to replace everything," stated Toyota spokesman Naoki Sumino. Toyota is now in the process of instructing its dealers in the United States and other global markets in how to replace the faulty part.

Toyota is quick to move on this recall considering the scrutiny it and other vehicle manufacturers have come under recently due to the high number of recalled vehicles. Toyota recalled 1.9 million Prius hybrids earlier this year due to a software glitch, and in October of last year, the company recalled 803,000 vehicles for another issue which impacted the performance of the airbags.

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