Toyota, Lexus recalling 1.7 million vehicles to fix air bags
By Tom Krisher
Jan 10, 2019 | 8:05 AM
Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America to replace potentially deadly Takata front passenger air bag inflators.
The move announced Wednesday includes 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. and is part of the largest series of automotive recalls in the nation's history.
Takata inflators can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have been killed worldwide and hundreds have been injured.
The recall covers Toyota models including the 2010 through 2016 4Runner, the 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.
Takata Corp.'s defective air bags are now the largest auto recall in U.S. history.
Takata used the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags. But the chemical can deteriorate over time due to high humidity and cycles from hot temperatures to cold. The most dangerous inflators are in areas of the South along the Gulf of Mexico that have high humidity.
Toyota and Lexus dealers will either replace the inflator or the entire air bag assembly with equipment made by other manufacturers that does not contain ammonium nitrate. Owners will be notified by mail or other means in late January.
Toyota wouldn't say if anyone has been injured in vehicles covered by the latest recall.