Toyota Australia recalls 181,000 cars

1994 Toyota Corolla Seca hatch

TOYOTA Australia has announced one of its biggest recalls ever affecting 181,000 cars to fix a potentially faulty airbag inflator.

However the parts on the affected cars – all of them imported - won’t be available until early 2016.

The recall affects various Echo, Yaris, Corolla, RAV4 and Avensis Verso models produced between 2003 and 2007.

It is an extension of the airbag inflator-related recall announced in 2014 as part of a worldwide campaign affecting components produced by supplier Takata.
That recall helped make 2014 the biggest year on record for vehicle recalls, as revealed exclusively by Wheels.

In a statement released today Toyota said there had been no injuries from the potentially faulty parts, which can result in the airbag and inflator firing incorrectly, injuring occupants.

“These recalls are due to the potential that, depending on the vehicle, either the driver's or passenger's airbag inflators may be susceptible to moisture intrusion over time,” said the Toyota statement. “If this happens, this could potentially make the inflator assembly prone to rupture during an accident, increasing the risk of injury to the occupant.”

Due to the scale of the recall Toyota says it may not begin replacing parts until early 2016.

One issue delaying the repairs is the scale of the production of replacement components; the latest recall affects 5 million Toyotas globally as well as millions more from other brands.

Once produced, the components then must be sent by ship because they are explosives and are not allowed to be air-freighted, further increasing the time it takes to get to dealers.

Toyota has opened a hotline for concerned customers.

“If people have any concerns we ask them to contact their dealer or call can call 1800 987 366 and we’ll work something out with them,” a Toyota spokeswoman told Wheels.

The recall is expected to impact other brands that were affected by previous recalls affecting Takata components. That includes Nissan, which is expected to announce a recall for various models that would be an extension to the airbag recall announced in 2013.

More information will become available on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website.

ModelBuild datesNumber recalled
Echo 1 July 2003 - 25 October 2005 27,444
Yaris (various) 19 August 2005 – 30 March 2007 44,812
Corolla (various) 9 May 2003 – 1 March 2007 75,119
RAV4 31 July 2003 – 25 October 2005 28,945
Avensis Verso (various) 23 May 2003 – 30 March 2007 4615

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