Recall Alert: Airbag Problem Affects Millions of Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda Vehicles

Tundra

By Matt Schmitz, KickingTires

Four Japanese automakers — Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda — have announced a voluntary recall of 3 million vehicles worldwide because of possibly faulty airbags; more than a million of those vehicles are in the U.S.

According to the automakers, the problem lies in the front-passenger airbag inflator, which in affected vehicles could deploy with too much pressure due to improperly manufactured propellant wafers, causing the inflator casing to rupture. This could result in injuries to passengers, though none have been reported. The airbags were manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp., a major world supplier of airbags.

According to Toyota, affected vehicles in the U.S. include 510,000 Toyota Corolla compact sedans, Matrix compact hatchbacks, Sequoia SUVs and Tundra pickup trucks, as well as Lexus SC 430 sport coupes, all manufactured between 2001 and 2003. According to news reports, Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles worldwide.

Toyota said it will notify owners by mail. Dealers will inspect the front-passenger airbag; if it is equipped with an affected inflator, the inflator will be replaced with a new one for free. Toyota owners can go to www.toyota.com/recall or call Toyota customer service at 800-331-4331; Lexus owners can go to www.lexus.com/recall or call Lexus customer service at 800-255-3987.

Honda is voluntarily recalling 426,000 2001-03 Civic sedans, 43,000 2002-03 CR-V compact crossovers and 92,000 2002 Odyssey minivans in the U.S. According to news reports, Honda is recalling 1.1 million vehicles worldwide.

Owners of affected Honda vehicles will be notified by mail starting in late May and are encouraged to take their vehicles to a dealer for inspection and repair if necessary, Honda said. Owners can determine if their vehicles require inspection by going to www.recalls.honda.com or by calling 800-999-1009 and selecting option 4.

According to The Detroit News, Nissan is recalling 480,000 vehicles worldwide and Mazda is recalling 45,000 vehicles worldwide. Specific U.S. numbers and affected model years and vehicles were not immediately available from Nissan or Mazda. The New York Times reported that the 480,000 Nissans being recalled worldwide include 2000-04 Maxima sedans, Infiniti FX crossovers, Infiniti QX4 SUVs, Pathfinder SUVs and Sentra compact sedans; and that 20,000 Mazdas were being recalled worldwide, including 2003-04 Mazda6 sedans and 2004 RX-8 sports cars.

Comments

More reason to buy an extended warranty.

My bad, wrong thread. Sorry.

@DenverMike
Yes, but GM sold the Vibes, so GM is responsible for the recall.

Luke in CO | Oh Snap! I didn't see that one coming... GM didn't so much as install the emblems. It's no different than blaming the salesman or the kid that washed it for delivery. Or Avis for renting it to someone unsuspecting.

@DenverMike
The Vibe may have been just a Matrix in drag, but GM made the profit off selling them so GM gets to pony up for the recall.

@Luke in CO | Technically you're right. Toyota and the others involved should keep better control of quality if not safety of supplied parts and selected vendors. Takata was no doubt the lowest bidder. And we're not talking door panels or window lifts here.

GM just has to not buy cars from Toyota.

@DenverMike - the company who owns the rights to the badge on the hood is ultimately responsible for the recall. Car comapnies issued the voluntary recall not Takata.
If you read through some of the links provided by other bloggers, Takata initially could not replicate the problem.

A risk/benefit/cost analysis is performed to see if it is worth expending the aditional costs to hunt for a potentially complex problem that may have minimal risk.
IIRC, there were 4 documented cases in the USA, 2 in Peurto Rico and a few in South America.

@Sandman raised an interesting point. Companies usually design or engineer a product and tender the build of that item if it is more cost effective to outsource. In some cases, a huge company like Takara has a parts inventory of airbags and seatbealts. A car company could chose to buy off a spec sheet. It may be cheaper to integrate an existing design into a vehicle than engineer a specific new component.
The size of this recall and the fact that several companies have been affected indicates that these were generic components.
Determining whether or not it is an engineering problem ie. poorly designed part or a manufacturing problem ie. poorly built part is much more complex.
As we have seen in the past, that debate becomes clouded with emotion and subsequent loss of rational thought.
A prime example of a build problem is Toyota's gas pedal recall. All of the pedals built by CTS were recalled and all of the pedals built by Denso were not recalled. The only design difference between the two was a harness. The harness was not at fault. Ford and Chrysler had recalled pedals made by the same company around the same time as the Toyota recall. That indicates a supplier problem even though the car company has to deal with the public end of the recall.
I would suspect that manufacturers of components have insurance coverage to deal with the financial repercussions of providing faulty products.
Another example of the complexities of car company versus supplier is Ford and International. Litigation was initiated by both parties over the infamous 6.0 Powerstroke.

Lou: Nice way of expanding what I said! then we have to take into consideration, that the lawyers on both sides sit at opposite sides of the engineering table, and hash it out! and we all know how that ends up! in a way you need to be a lawyer just to be able to read said papers of contracts.

@Lou - I'm not saying the OEM on the hood isn't on the 'Hook', although Toyota built the car. That's the issues here. If the Pontiac Vibe was Ford Focus badge job instead of a Matrix/Corolla, it would be a totally different story for you. It was Toyota's screw up regardless.

@DenverMike - no not really, there are supllier issues and engineering issues. Ford's fire recalls were traced to a Texas Instruments cruise control switch. In that case, it was never clearly pointed out as to who was to blame.
I was trying to find some information on that issue and stumbled accross this story about Ford fuel line fires in new Escapes. They clearly stated that the problem lied with T1 suppliers.
http://pulse2.com/2012/07/24/ford-blames-ti-automotive-for-escape-recall/
In the case of the 6.0 PowerStroke, it is obvious that Ford felt part of the problem was International's fault or they wouldn't of started litigation to regain part of the warranty costs.

In the case of Toyota, too many jump on the "bash Toyota" bandwagon for no reason other than country of head office. I don't defend Toyota just because they are Toyota, same applies to Ford.
When unsubstantiated trolling is aimed at Ford or Toyota, since I own both products and have skin in the game, I will try to counter ignorant posts. If posts are made that are clear, logical, and supported by evidence - I'm not going to try to counter that sort of information. it makes zero sense. As with our debate over small versus large trucks, I will present my interpretation of information and explain why I see things my way.
I mentioned the gas pedal issue for Toyota to point out supplier versus design. Toyota did take too long to remediate that problem. The optics were also very bad for Toyota. The issue did turn into a witch hunt. I don't recall Ford being called into congress for switch fires, do you?

@Lou | Ford's switch fires didn't really send drivers screaming full speed to a horrific crash and fiery death. Not that Toyota did either, but you can see how the media would pick up on one story and ignore the other. After all, it was media pressure that fanned the flames of the Toyota witch hunt.

There's a lot of bashing of OEMs, class/size of trucks and their country of origin, but there's no denying Toyota dragged GM into this mess. OEMs notoriously cut corners, but so do vendors. It's how it works, but this time, GM did nothing wrong except choosing Toyota.

@ DenverMike. You really should stop blaming Toyota for bringing in GM to this recall. Do you know how the JV business was ran? No. I do and GM / Toyota workers built those cars. GM had engineers and executives at that plant just as Toyota did. Yes the design was a Corolla base but GM had input and are just as responsible as Toyota for all the supplier comps that were used to build the car. After all it did have a Pontiac emblem on the hood. Stop with all the bashing. FYI the airbag issue Honda had a while back was with the drivers airbag which is a different design than the passenger issue with this recall. Get stuff straight before trolling.

@Unbiased Ford guy | Honda recalled 1.6 million 'driver' airbags then turns around and recalls 1.1 million PASSSENGER side air bags? On the exact same cars???

The Vibe is a 'skinned' Matrix which is built on the Corolla platform with the Corolla drivetrain and identical to a Toyota Voltz. Not much GM there to speak of. NUMMI was a J/V for the intention of GM learning Toyota's "Lean Production" practices and derived from the famous "Toyota Production System" (TPS).

You can make all the excuses you want, but no, the Vibe/Matrix was Toyota's baby. Now GM has to deal with one ginormous soiled diaper.

@Unbiased Ford guy | All Honda recalled 1.6 million 'driver' airbags then turns around and recalls 1.1 million PASSENGER side air bags? On the same cars???

The Vibe is a 'skinned' Matrix which is built on the Corolla platform with the Corolla drivetrain and identical to a Toyota Voltz. Not much GM there to speak of. NUMMI was a J/V for the intention of GM learning Toyota's "Lean Production" practices and derived from the famous "Toyota Production System" (TPS).

You can make excuses all you want, but no, the Vibe/Matrix was Toyota's baby. Now GM has to deal with one Ginormous Soiled Diaper.

I wonder how the anti-Toyota rhetoric will fare since Ford and Toyota have partnered on hybrid pickups and SUV's.

I can see it now: Ford makes a better hybrid pickup than Toyota....... yes they do.......... Toyota sucks.................

That is no different than the Ford is best or Chevy is best guys, they are going to have an identity crisis since Ford and GMC are partnering on the development of 9 and 10 speed trannies.

I can see it now: Chevy trucks have way better 9 speed transmissions than Ford.........yes they do....... Ford sucks......

Provide proof and link to show I'm incorrect:)

Ford don't use these airbags?

I would do some research, DM.

If you have understood the article the component came from a contract supplier to many manufacturers.

I wonder if this manufacturers supplies to one of the Big 3?

Probably.

Not just Toyota in particular.

@DenverMike
I sorry I will not debate you anymore, particularly after what you wrote above.

You are a stupid and dangerous person. Why would anyone deviate from the manufactures specifications regarding the use of a vehicle and a commercial vehicle carrying loads?

And you claim to be a transport operator? What a selfish, ignorant, irresponsible jerk you are. You are a hazard to your community.

I thought you stated that you use your V8 for work only. How can you possibly achieve those fuel figures.

Or you are a troll and a real fool.

I’m sorry if what I wrote offends other contributors on this site but this guy is a genuine loser.

@DenverMike
You are wrong again, you must read to much propaganda

My mother’s friend also believes Fox News is accurate, but she is getting very old and senile, but they make it simple for her to understand. You know the feeling?

You are wrong again, you must read to much propaganda by the Tea Party or from other fringe political groups.

Fox and Friends is great morning veiwing. My mother’s friend also believes Fox News is accurate, but she is getting very old and senile, but they make it simple for her to understand. You know the feeling?

Again DenverMike you have proven you are a ill informed.

Really DenverMike you are proven wrong again.

@BAFO - What US OEMs use Takata airbags? Let's see your' link, mate... Of course you're just pulling things out of the air in a desperate attempt to let the Japanese brands off the hook. Or implying US OEMs (or vendors) are just as guilty of gross negligence.

It would be worth knowing which OEMs use Takata airbags, but what matters here is who got the defective airbags. And who's not testing production samples.



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