(Photo Credit: Pixabay)
Japanese carmaker Toyota said that it will recall 3.4 million vehicles worldwide due to an electronic glitch that can result in faulty air bag deployments in crashes.
The recall, which includes 2.9 million United States (US) vehicles, covers the following Toyota models:
- 2011-2019 Corolla
- 2011-2013 Matrix
- 2012-2018 Avalon
- 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid
The vehicles may have an electronic control unit which lacks adequate protection against electrical noise that can occur in crashes, which then results in incomplete or non-deployment of the air bags. It could also prevent the operation of seat-belt pretensioners, which pulls in on the belt in the event of a crash.
In April, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded a probe into 12.3 million with potentially defective air bags. This covered several automakers, including Toyota and the vehicles above that they are recalling.
NHTSA had mentioned back in April that it had identified two frontal crash events, both involving newer Corolla models. One of the crashes was fatal, which was suspected to be due to “electrical overstress” on Toyota car products.
They also said that the air bags under investigation where installed in more than 12 million vehicles from 2010 through 2019 sold by:
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
- Honda Motors
- Hyundai Motors
- Kia Motors
These vehicles had an air bag control unit installed, which was initially produced by TRW Automotive Holdings Corp, which is now owned by ZF Friedrichshafen.
NHTSA said that as many as eight deaths could be tied to the issue in total.
Hyundai, Kia and Fiat Chrysler had previously issued recalls for over 2.5 million vehicles with the TRW air bag control units, due to the suspicion that they may not deploy in crashes.
Fiat Chrysler recalled nearly 2 million vehicles for air bag non-deployments back in 2016, saying that there were reports of three deaths and five injuries that may have been related to the defect.
Hyundai and Kia recalled more than 1 million vehicles in 2018 due to the same concerns. They had reports of four deaths and six injuries in North America tied to the issue.
Toyota dealers will install a noise filter between the air bag control module and its wire harness if needed. They also declined to say how many deaths or injuries were tied to the issue.
Toyota will notify vehicle owners of the recall by mid-March this year. The number of affected vehicles in Singapore is also currently unknown.
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