An urgent warning has been issued to the owners of more than 6000 Toyota Corollas – models ZZE122 and ZZE123, manufactured between 2003 and 2005 – whose cars have been added to the list of vehicles being recalled due to the dangerous Takata PSAN (phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate) airbags.
The Takata airbag recall is the world’s largest automotive recall, affecting an estimated 100 million vehicles globally. It is also the most significant compulsory recall in Australia’s history, with more than four million Takata airbag inflators resulting in more than three million vehicle recalls.
An investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) identified that certain types of Takata PSAN airbags have a design defect that may cause the airbag to deploy with so much explosive force that sharp metal fragments shoot out and may hit vehicle occupants, potentially injuring or killing them.
The addition of Toyota Corollas to the recall list came after two people suffered injuries including burns and cuts from flying metal shrapnel when a PSAN passenger airbag deployed when a 2004 Toyota Corolla rear-ended another vehicle in late August in Sydney.
These vehicles are already under voluntary recall for the driver’s side airbag; however, Toyota Australia has recently been advised by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan that the affected vehicles also contain Takata PSAN passenger airbags, which are subject to the current compulsory recall.
Toyota Australia is further investigating its vehicles to ensure all affected vehicles are now captured under the compulsory recall.
There have been at least 29 deaths and more than 320 injuries associated with Takata PSAN airbags worldwide. In Australia, in addition to this new incident, there has been one death and one serious injury reported.
“As other vehicles may be added to the existing compulsory recall list from time to time, please check if your vehicle is affected even if you have checked before. It takes less than a minute and could save lives,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“Please do not ignore any correspondence from your manufacturer about the Takata airbag recall. If your vehicle is under recall, please act now to arrange for a free replacement,” Ms Rickard said.
In addition to the compulsory recall of vehicles fitted with Takata PSAN airbags, eight vehicle manufacturers have also issued voluntary recalls for some vehicles manufactured between 1996 and 2000 which may have been fitted with a different type of faulty Takata airbag, a NADI airbag. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications is monitoring the NADI voluntary recalls.