Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that it is recalling 4.3 million vehicles from all markets because of possible faults in air bags and fuel tanks.
From the large number, 1.43 million vehicles are suspected of having faulty air bag systems. Toyota did point out that the problematic equipment was not manufactured by Takata. As a reminder, Takata is the supplier that was deemed responsible for massive air bag recalls over the last months.
Toyota kept mum about the identity of the air bag supplier that forced it to call back the 1.43 million vehicles.
The carmaker issued a separate statement saying that another 2.87 million of its global cars also need to be checked in relation to suspected fuel tank issues. A total of 3.37 million vehicles are suspected to be affected by both the air bag and the fuel tank issues.
Consumers worldwide are increasingly concerned about the safety risks attached to air bags.
Car manufacturers recalled 60 million vehicles in the United States alone, with global recalls reaching tens of millions because of Takata's faulty air bags.
Hardware from Takata seems to be accountable for 14 deaths and more than 100 injuries. As a result of the bleak numbers, the company's leader Shigehisa Takada announced on June 28 that he is resigning.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) even expanded a recall order from 35 to 40 million vehicles that were equipped with the manufacturer's air bags. Despite the agency's warning, some car manufacturers might still be using the perilous air bags in new vehicles.
The main issue of Takata's air bags revolves around the inflaters used, particularly the propellant-filled metal capsules that trigger the instant deployment of the air bags when there is a crash. Multiple reports indicate that Takata's inflaters can rupture violently, harming the passengers in the process.
Toyota's recent air bag recall covers two models of hybrid vehicles, namely the the Lexus CT200h and the Prius, with manufacturing dates between 2010 and 2012.
The carmaker states that the inflaters in the models' air bags are suspected to sport small crack in a weld. This could potentially lead to improper inflation of the air bags, with shrapnel pieces being launched into the cabin in case of a strong crash.
Toyota points out that the risk peaks when the inflaters are exposed to high humidity. The company further notes that the issue sprouted from a manufacturing error, and that the design behind the air bags meets the quality standards.
Toyota underlined that no injuries or deaths were reported in relation to the issues that led to the recall.
The bigger recall affecting 2.87 million vehicles is due to a possible fault in the vehicles' fuel tanks. The problem could lead to fuel leaks through small cracks in the mechanism, especially during tank fillings.
The recall involving the fuel tanks covers models such as Prius hybrids and Corolla compacts with manufacturing dates between 2006 and 2015.