RAC Cars News


Massive Recall On Japanese Cars

By raccars Published

Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda have become part of a massive worldwide recall involving potentially faulty front passenger airbags. 3.4 million cars made by Japan's big four have been affected worldwide, including more than 150,000 British models.

The potentially defective airbag was supplied to the companies by Takata Corp, a third party producer of automotive safety gear, such as seatbelts and airbags. The speculation is that a small metal component of the inflator gear could rupture upon exposure to great pressure, as experienced upon airbag inflation, causing metal shards to escape from the unit upon deployment. It is suspected that the fault was caused by improper assembly of the inflator. In this case, there have been five incidences of front passenger airbags rupturing upon use in Toyotas in the US and Japan.

Toyota is also the worst affected by the possible defect, necessitating the recall of 1.73 million cars globally, of which 76,000 are in the UK. The company has been involved in safety-related recalls before, with problems affecting the brakes and brake pedals of millions of vehicles, resulting in a high profile recall in 2009-2010. However, this ushered in a programme of range-wide five-year warranties in a bid to regain consumer confidence in the brand, an idea that was swiftly jumped upon by other major manufacturers as an incentive to buyers to purchase new.

While the other three manufacturers involved in the recall have not reported any incidences of abnormal airbag deployment, they are still issuing a precautionary recall. Honda is recalling 1.14 million cars, Nissan are recalling 480,000 vehicles, of which 59,058 are in the UK and Mazda are the least affected, with 45,000 cars being recalled worldwide and just under 2,000 in the UK.

None of the reported incidents has resulted in any injury but the list of models affected includes the following, from between the years 2000-2004:

Toyota: Corolla, Yaris, Picnic, Camry Nissan: X-Trail, Patrol, Almera, Almera Tino, Terrano II, Navara Honda: CR-V, Jazz, Civic, Stream Mazda: 6

Owners of affected cars are likely to be contacted to arrange replacement parts work to be carried out within the next month, but concerned owners should contact their local dealer. The work will involve removing the existing faulty component and replacing it with a new, controversy-free alternative. The recall work will be free of charge and should take about 2 and a half hours to complete.

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