A new round of voluntary recalls is affecting more than 5-million vehicles made by Japan’s top two automakers. The problem: airbags.
Toyota is conducting a safety recall of about 2.9 million vehicles. They say the problem is an electronic control unit that may not be adequately protected against certain electrical noise that can occur in certain crashes. Toyota says, “This can lead to incomplete or nondeployment of the airbags and/or seat belt pretensioners.” This voluntary recall affects certain 2011-2019 Model Year Corolla, 2011-2013 Model Year Matrix, 2012-2018 Model Year Avalon, and 2013-2018 Model Year Avalon Hybrid vehicles in the United States. Toyota says dealers will be inspecting the vehicles to see if they need a filter, although the company also says in most cases, dealers will install a noise filter for free. Toyota plans to notify owners by the middle of March.
Another voluntary recall involves 139,000 Toyota vehicles in the United States. In this case the vehicles have a front driver airbag with a single-stage non-azide front driver airbag inflator made by Takata. The announcement by Toyota says, “According to information provided by Takata, the airbag may not deploy properly.” This recall centers around certain vehicles: 1998–2000 Model Year Toyota RAV4, 1998–1999 Model Year RAV4 EV, 1998–1999 Model Year Celica and 1997–1998 Model Year Supra. While Toyota is investigating a way to fix the problem, they’ll notify owners by mail by the end of March.
Honda is also announcing a voluntary recall involving approximately 2.4 million Acura and Honda vehicles in the United States. Although they point out this is “not related to prior Takata airbag inflator recalls” they say this is a “different inflator type with a different defect.”
This situation involves what’s known as NADI inflators. Honda says the inflators were made without appropriate seals, and that “may allow air and moisture to leak into the inflators over an extended period, causing propellant degradation.” If that happens, Honda says during a crash the airbag “may deploy too slowly or, in very rare cases, too forcefully, rupturing and throwing metal pieces of the inflator toward vehicle occupants.”
Honda plans to notify owners about the problem beginning the middle of March, and then again when replacement parts are available.
Here’s a list of the models included in this recall: