Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in an ongoing effort to replace potentially deadly defective airbags.
In the largest recall in automotive history, Toyota is still bringing back in older-model vehicles to replace their defective Takata-build airbags.
Initially begun in 2013, the Takata airbag recall has long since become the biggest automotive SNAFU of all time. It affects brands from 12 carmakers, including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota, with over 50 million airbags needing to be replaced to correct a potentially deadly problem.
The propellant used in Takata Corporation-sourced airbags was found to break down when exposed to high humidity and temperatures as often occur to cars over the summer. When the propellant breaks down it can cause the airbag to inflate with too much force, rupturing the inflator and sending metal shrapnel through the back and straight at the passenger’s face, "increasing the risk of serious injury or death."
At least 16 deaths have been directly attributed to Takata airbags.
Toyota has already recalled hundreds of thousands of vehicles as a result of this issue, and now they’ve expanded it to become 1.7 million vehicles globally with 1.3 million being based in the United States.
The recall affects a wide range of Toyota manufactured vehicles, including the Toyota 4Runner (2010 to 2016), Toyota Corolla (2010 to 2013), Toyota Matrix (2010 to 2013), Toyota Sienna (2011 to 2014), Lexus ES350 (2010 to 2012), Lexus GX 460 (2010 to 2017), Lexus IS250C and 350C (2010 to 2015), Lexus IS250 and 350 (2010 to 2013), Lexus IS-F (2010 to 2014), and Scion XB (2010 to 2015).
Owners will start to receive notifications by mail starting this month, with Toyota replacing the airbags free of charge. This is one you’ll definitely want to replace as the deaths reported from these faulty airbags are all pretty gruesome.
As for Takata Corporation, they’ve long since gone bankrupt after needing to recall pretty much every airbag they ever made. It’s not much consolation to the families of the victims, but at least we’ll never need to worry about shrapnel-shooting airbags again. Hopefully.