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Toyota and Honda recall more than 6 million cars due to airbag faults

Japanese car makers Toyota and Honda recall more than 6 MILLION vehicles worldwide due to airbag faults

  • Toyota recall is for around 3.4 million cars with ZF-TRW airbag control units
  • These are susceptible to electrical interference that could stop them going off
  • Honda’s recall is for 2.7 million cars with Takata airbags that might explode
  • Vast majority of the impacted vehicles are US-spec cars that aren’t sold in the UK

Toyota and Honda has issued safety recalls for more than six million cars worldwide after both Japanese auto makers identified separate airbag faults that could have lethal consequences for drivers.

Toyota is recalled around 3.4 million cars globally – though the majority are in the US – because of a glitch that could prevent an airbag inflating in a crash.

Honda’s issue impacts some 2.7 million vehicles in the US and Canada with Takata air bag inflators, which could explode on deployment, sending shrapnel into the face and body of the car’s occupants.

Recall: Toyota’s airbag issue impacted predominantly US-spec cars, including the Corolla (pictured) built between 2011 and 2019. A glitch with the device’s control unit could prevent an airbag being deployed in a crash 

Both Japanese car brands issued their recalls on Tuesday, with Toyota’s affecting the greatest volume of machines across the globe.

All models impacted are those with airbag control computers manufactured by ZF-TRW.

This includes particular Corolla models built between 2011 and 2019, 2011 to 2013 Matrix, 2012 to 2018 Avalon and 2013 to 2018 Avalon Hybrid models – none of which are models that are available in the UK. 

However, the same computers are also used in as many as 12.3 million vehicles in the US manufactured by Chrysler, Fiat, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi. 

The fault is linked to the airbag systems being vulnerable to electrical interference. If this takes place during a collision, it could prevent the airbags inflating.

In a statement, Toyota said the computer ‘may not have adequate protection against electrical noise that can happen in crashes, such as when the vehicle runs under a different vehicle’. 

It added: ‘The problem can cause incomplete opening of the airbags, or they may not open at all.’ 

The same problem may also be linked to the functionality of the seatbelt pre-tensions in the car, which are designed to pull a motorist into their seat during an accident.  

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims it is possible that as many as eight people have been killed in the country due to a vehicle airbag failing to inflate.

The defect has been linked to one fatal crash report involving a Toyota, though the brand has declined to say how many deaths and injuries have been linked to the problem. 

Four other instances of fatal crashes caused by the problem were reported in Hyundai and Kia models, while the remaining three were FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) cars, resulting in recalls for 2.5 million vehicles with the airbag control units in 2016.

The road safety group has been investigating ZF-TRW airbag computers for almost three years, including closer inspection of the systems in Toyota models last April. 

It found that there were two non-fatal cases involving 2019 and 2019 US-spec Toyota Corollas – not those built for the European market at the Burnaston factory in the UK – in which the airbags didn’t go off when the crashes happened.  

Toyota says dealers will fit a noise filter between the airbag control module and its wire harness to prevent any interference to rectify the issue. 

Honda's recall is for older models produced between 1996 and 2003 fitted with Takata airbags. These are not the same devices that caused some 25 deaths worldwide

Honda’s recall is for older models produced between 1996 and 2003 fitted with Takata airbags. These are not the same devices that caused some 25 deaths worldwide 

Honda’s Takata airbag recall

Honda on Tuesday also issued a safety recall on some 2.7 million vehicles in the US and Canada with Takata airbag inflators.

While these are not the same airbags that were blamed for 25 deaths worldwide and resulted in the industry’s biggest recall in history, there are still potentially lethal consequence if the issue isn’t rectified.

Honda fears the airbags could blow apart a metal canister and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

The recall covers certain Honda from the 1996 to 2003 model years. Acura models – which is the luxury arm of Honda in the US market – are also believed to be impacted. 

Again, its is unlikely that UK vehicles are affected. 

In a statement the Japanese car brand said: ‘Honda believes that the risk of improper air bag deployment in its vehicles remains very low at this time, but we cannot absolutely guarantee the performance of any recalled part.’ 


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