Toyota expands Takata airbag recall by 1.6 million vehicles

Photo credit: BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling almost 1.6 million additional U.S. vehicles for front passenger side Takata airbag inflators that could rupture.

Earlier this month, Takata Corp. said it was declaring another 35 million to 40 million U.S. inflators defective at the urging of U.S. regulators, a move that more than doubles the number of inflators recalled. Faulty Takata inflators have been linked to more than 100 injuries and 13 deaths worldwide.

Toyota said the new recall includes some but not all Corolla, Matrix, Yaris, 4Runner, Sienna, Scion xB, Lexus ES, GX and IS vehicles built between 2006 and 2011.

Toyota said it has now recalled 4.73 million vehicles in the United States for Takata airbags.

Other reports from the 17 automakers now recalling Takata vehicles are due this week.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for Daimler AG said another 197,000 vehicles in the United States will need to be recalled — but all have been recalled in previous driver-side airbag calls.

Last week, Takata filed reports with U.S. auto safety regulators declaring nearly 14 million airbag inflators defective — in the first of a series of required reports. Takata agreed to expand recalls by 35 million to 40 million inflators in several tranches through 2019, adding to the 28.8 million recalled before May 4.

It is the largest recall in U.S. auto safety history. Malfunctioning Takata airbag inflators can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel into vehicles.

Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tesla Motors Inc., Fisker Automotive and Jaguar Land Rover will recall Takata airbag inflators, bringing the number of automakers involved to 17, including Honda Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

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