Defective Takata airbags have made Toyota expand its safety campaign with 1,584,000 additional vehicles in the United States.
Based on recent information from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Takata, Toyota says that in certain vehicles equipped with a particular type of inflator, the front passenger airbag may explode in case of a collision, sending shrapnel towards the occupants due to inflator propellant degradation, occurring after long exposure to high temperature and humidity.
The recall expansion involves the 2009-2011 Corolla and Matrix, 2006-2011 Yaris, 2010-2011 4Runner, 2011 Sienna, 2008-2011 Scion xB, 2007-2011 Lexus ES, 2010-2011 Lexus GX and 2006-2011 Lexus IS. Owners of the affected models will be notified, via first class mail, by Toyota, Scion and Lexus and, depending on the model, dealers will replace the airbag inflator or the airbag assembly, free of charge.
Toyota's safety campaign expansion due to defective Takata airbag inflators comes right after Hawaii became the first US state to sue the Japanese company, accusing them of willingly selling defective airbags to automakers and asking maximum civil penalties, repaying profits made from selling the airbags, restitution for car buyers and a campaign to educate drivers.