Toyota SA to recall 730,000 cars over defective airbags

Xinhua news agency reports that Toyota is recalling 730,000 cars to replace defective airbag inflators affecting different models

“Toyota and many other motor manufacturers worldwide are recalling vehicles for potentially defective Takata airbag inflators. Globally, there are close to 100 million vehicles affected across several brands. At Toyota South Africa, we have 730 000 vehicles affected,” the agency quoted Mzolisi Witbooi, corporate public relations manager at the company, as saying.

Witbooi said the company had not received a report of any accidents caused by the defective airbags, Xinhua reported.

It said Toyota was recalling its Hilux, Rav4, Fortuners (built from July 2003 to December 2005), Yaris models, RunX and Corolla (built from 2002 to 2007).

Depending on the car brand, the replacement of the car component would be free and take a day, Witbooi told the agency.

The company has released a statement in which it confirms that it is conducting a recall campaign related to potentially defective Takata airbag inflators.

“The Takata recall affects a number of automotive brands worldwide. This is not a new recall for Toyota SA, but an ongoing campaign that commenced in July 2015. It affects some 730 000 locally-sold Toyota and Lexus models, currently 10 different model ranges, produced between 2002 and 2015. Please note that airbags were not standard on all Toyota models produced during this period,” the statement read.

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Toyota SA stressed the Takata recall campaign is a precautionary measure as there have been no injuries or fatalities reported in South Africa linked to the potentially faulty airbag inflators.

“Affected customers are contacted directly by Toyota SA as well as their dealers to bring their vehicles in for the repair which is conducted free of charge. Toyota SA has established a dedicated Takata Call Centre to locate affected customers.”

There are also three other tools Toyota has made available for owners to check if their specific vehicle is affected:

  • Contact the Toyota Call Centre on 0800 129 111 (have your VIN number to hand – located on your vehicle licence disc);
  • Go to Toyota website, once again have your VIN number handy.
  • Download the MyToyota app – you will automatically be notified if your vehicle is affected. In addition, the app will enable you to scan any Toyota licence disc to establish if it is affected by the Takata recall.

Toyota South Africa President and CEO Andrew Kirby assured customers that the company’s focus remains their customers’ safety and peace of mind.

“I would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this has caused, but we feel that this pro-active measure is the right thing to do, as prevention is always better than cure.

“There has not been a single reported injury or fatality in this country arising from the potentially faulty Takata airbag inflators – and we want to keep it that way.