Toyota NZ recalls 26,000 vehicles

Corolla, Picnic, Yaris and RAV4 airbags to be checked.

Recalls hero

Toyota is recalling 26,050 Corolla, Picnic, Yaris and RAV4 vehicles because of a possible airbag fault.

More than 5 million Toyotas have been recalled worldwide because the airbags, by outside supplier Takata, can deploy explosively in a collision.

In New Zealand, the affected vehicles are:

  • RAV4 and Yaris cars manufactured between 2003 and 2005. The issue with these cars is with the driver’s side airbags.
  • Corolla, Picnic and Yaris cars manufactured between 2001 and 2007. The issues with these cars is with the passenger side airbags.

Owners of these cars are traceable through registration data and will be contacted by Toyota New Zealand.

Toyota is investigating how many second-hand imported vehicles will be affected by the recall.

Spencer Morris, general manager of Toyota New Zealand customer services, said the company was not aware of any airbags deploying abnormally in an accident here.

What you need to know

What caused this recall?

The problem is an airbag inflator manufactured in Mexico between September 2001 and September 2002 by Takata. The factory had a quality control issue affecting the airbag inflator, which was installed in many vehicles between 2001 and 2007. The problem is an airbag could deploy explosively in a collision, resulting in shrapnel being projected into the cabin.

Is my vehicle dangerous?

All recalls are to do with safety and should be treated seriously. This problem has been linked to 4 deaths and more than 100 injuries in the US. This recall keeps getting extended to include vehicles from all over the world because Takata has not been able to trace all airbag inflators manufactured during this period, due to poor record keeping. Without accurate information about which cars are affected, manufacturers are recalling vehicles as a precaution. This is why Toyota announced the New Zealand recall – to check whether the airbag inflators in the vehicles are part of the problem batch.

What is Takata?

It is the second largest automotive safety equipment manufacturer in the world. It is a Japanese company, with global manufacturing facilities. It designs, manufactures and supplies parts directly to automakers, a relationship known as tier-one supply. It was one of the top 100 global suppliers in 2012, according to Automotive News, with worldwide original-equipment parts sales of US$4.8 billion.

Is it just Toyota?

No. The issue has been the subject of widespread recalls in the US, Canada and other markets since 2008 – affecting at least 10 different automakers. With the latest announcements from Nissan and Honda, as well as Toyota, the number of vehicles affected by this global recall has risen to 31 million. Other automakers are still investigating whether more recalls will be required.

I have a Toyota. What should I do?

The registered owner of the vehicle will be contacted by Toyota.

What happens to used imports?

The registered owner of any affected imported vehicle will be contacted by either the New Zealand distributor who represents the brand, or the NZTA.

In this case, Toyota New Zealand said it is investigating how many imports are affected. Vehicles have been recalled in the Japanese market, not just by Toyota, and some of these have potentially been imported to New Zealand as used vehicles.

Legally, the importer of the vehicle (and/or the trader who sold the vehicle) is responsible for ensuring the vehicle is safe, and so are responsible for all safety-related recalls and costs of repair to used vehicles they have imported. However, the Motor Industry Association of New Zealand, which represents the official distributors of car, trucks and motorbikes, has a voluntary code of practice which covers recalls of used imports. This states the MIA member is prepared to carry out rectification to vehicles imported by a third party.

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