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Toyota's airbag recall expanded to 1.7 million vehicles in North America on Wednesday after assessing that more cars could have the fatal Takata front-passenger airbag inflator installed. Last month, Toyota recalled about 65,000 vehicles in North America citing the same reason.
The Takata airbag recall has affected many major automakers. The airbags were made with the chemical ammonium nitrate and were prone to exploding upon deployment, potentially hurling fiery shrapnel into passengers. The chemicals present in the airbag can deteriorate over time due to high humidity and cycles from hot temperatures to cold. The most dangerous inflators are in areas of high humidity. At least 23 people have been killed and hundreds injured worldwide due to the faulty Takata airbags.
The recall covers Toyota models including the 2010 through 2016 4Runner, 2010 through 2013 Corolla and Matrix, and the 2011 through 2014 Sienna. Also covered are Lexus models including the 2010 through 2012 ES 350, the 2010 through 2017 GX 460, the 2010 through 2015 IS 250C and 350C, the 2010 through 2013 IS 250 and 350 and the 2010 through 2014 IS-F. The 2010 through 2015 Scion XB also is included.
Dealers have already started mailing customers whose cars could potentially be affected by the recall. One can also check for themselves whether their vehicle is affected by the recall by going to https://www.toyota.com/recall or https://www.airbagrecall.com and providing the license plate number or vehicle identification number. Dealers will either replace the inflators or the entire airbag assembly.
Earlier this week, Ford had also recalled about 1 million vehicles owing to the same reason while Honda recalled about 1.4 million vehicles. According to The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only 16.7 million of 50 million inflators have been replaced/repaired as of now.