Toyota Motor Corp. recently announced that they are recalling 3.4 million vehicles across the world as a result of defective airbags. The defect appears to be an electronic error which causes the airbags not to deploy during an accident.
According to the Insurance Journal, the recall “…includes 2.9 million U.S. vehicles, covers 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid vehicles and is tied to a report of one fatal crash.”
The issue has to do with an overload of electrical noise during an accident. The airbags in question tend to shut down or only partially deploy when the vehicle is inundated with excess electrical noise.
Toyota has said that they are considering installing a noise filter between the airbag control module and its wire harness if that’s the only way to
This recall seems to be a direct result of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) inquiry that they launched back in April of 2019. The inquiry has been an in-depth probe into 12.3 million defective airbags amongst a myriad of automakers, including Toyota.
All of these issues tie back to one air bag manufacturer, TRW Automotive Holdings Corp, that made the 12.3 million defective airbags. According to the NHTSA approximately eight deaths can be directly tied to problems with those specific airbags.
The Insurance Journal went into details about recalls other auto manufacturers have faced as a result of the TRW airbags. “When it recalled nearly 2 million vehicles for airbag non-deployments in 2016, Fiat Chrysler said it had reports of three deaths and five injuries that might be related to the defect,” wrote the Insurance Journal. “Hyundai and Kia ultimately recalled more than 1 million vehicles for airbag non-deployment concerns in 2018.”
Toyota is expected to announce the recalls by the end of March, by which time they will have decided on how they plan to repair the defective units. Fingers crossed there are no more major manufacturer issues in the meantime.