Toyota has already announced a large number of recalls related to the Takata airbag problem, but now they are announcing that even more cars have been outfitted with the faulty Japanese airbags. This recall is about 198,000 cars, according to Detroit News.
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The new recalls cover the 2008 Toyota Corolla, 2008 Corolla Matrix, 2008 Lexus SC430, 2009 Lexus SC430, and 2010 Lexus SC430. These cars bring the total number of vehicles affected by the recall to 3,156,000 in the United States and 15,289,000 globally.
Toyota said that the vehicles have a Takata-produced dual stage passenger side air bag inflator that could rupture in the event of a crash. Metal fragments from the exploding inflators could pierce the driver and passengers, and have been linked to at least 10 deaths.
“All known owners of the affected Toyota/Lexus vehicles will be notified by first-class mail,” the company said. “Dealers will replace the air bag inflator or the air bag assembly with a newly manufactured one at no cost.”
Takata has faced outrage over these problems since 2014, when 8 million cars in areas where there was a lot of humidity and heat had airbags that became problematic due to Takata's inflators being unstable and exploding. The recall was soon expanded to include another 17 million cars, but only after Takata had pressure to do so.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alleges that the recall now involves 14 vehicle manufacturers and millions of U.S. vehicles.
Washington lawmakers have said that Takata manipulated their air bag tests, and Democrats on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee alleges that “numerous internal documents and emails reference the widespread manipulation of inflator testing results by Takata employees.”
“Emails and documents reviewed by committee minority staff reveal a culture within Takata that, at a minimum, did not prioritize the safety of its products — and perhaps operated with an utter disregard for safety,” the report says.
Takata has said “the issues raised in the documents cited in the Senate committee report are entirely inexcusable and will not be tolerated or repeated.”
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A public apology has been issued by the company as well and they reached a $70 million settlement with NHTSA over the recalls.