I’ve written a lot about the Takata Air Bag recall that is ongoing and the last post was about the Federal Government in Australia demanding a full recall, which in a way was a good thing, however like many Government initiatives, didn’t consider all the facts.
Toyota has announced a recall for air bags that also includes several Lexus models – where similar components are used. This is not the same as the global recall that has been ongoing for many years where the propellant can be affected by moisture and when triggered becomes a much bigger bang than expected, which in turn destroys the whole fitment sending hard and sharp objects into the cabin.
Toyota’s recall is based on the sensor that triggers the propellant, so the issue has moved back one step in the process. For cars manufactured in late 2015 and 2016, the sensors have layers of insulation material and it appears that the glue holding the layers together is disintegrating which could cause an open circuit because an electric current could jump between components. This results in an air bag warning light coming on and the air bag failing to deploy when required. The end result being that one section of the impact safety system fails and the occupant is at risk of injury.
The recall covered 49,000 vehicles – on top of the 600,000 already under recall – and includes the Toyota Prius, Lexus RX and NX models. Then a few days later more models were added to the list including Corolla, Fortuna and HiLux utes.
I actually commented on this type of issue briefly in the last article because these are new air bags that have been manufactured after the original problem was found and use a different propellant. Batches of these could have been fitted as replacements for the older style bag system. Although they use a different inflator and propellant, there are still manufacturing faults being exposed and each one will need to be fixed – at the cost of the car manufacturer because Takata is effectively being wound down now with assets being sold off to cover the existing recall costs.