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From Products Liability Law Daily, October 20, 2014

NHTSA urges Toyota owners to act immediately on recall of Takata airbags

By Pamela C. Maloney, J.D.

In the wake of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.’s October 20 announcement that it plans to conduct a supplemental safety recall of approximately 247,000 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia, Tundra and Lexus SC vehicles produced between 2001 and 2004 and equipped with front passenger airbag inflators supplied by Takata Corporation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged owners of these vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace these defective airbags. The federal regulator sent the message with special urgency, especially for owners of vehicles affected by the regional recalls in Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Hawaii.

According to a press release, Toyota is taking this action to intensify its efforts to reach customers and remedy previously recalled vehicles and a small number of newly included vehicles in the geographic areas listed above because data sent to Toyota by Takata indicated that a number of the returned inflators performed improperly during component testing. The cause of the potential for ruptured inflators and the influence of high absolute humidity are under investigation. To date, Toyota has received no reports of injuries or fatalities related to this condition.

Remedy. Beginning this week, all known owners of the affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota or Lexus dealer. The dealer will replace the front passenger airbag inflator with a newly manufactured one. If a replacement part is not available at the time of vehicle service, the dealer will follow procedures to temporarily disable the front passenger airbag assembly. In addition, the dealer will install a glove box hang tag informing occupants that the front passenger seat should not be occupied until the inflator assembly is replaced and the airbag is fully functional.

Contact information. Detailed information is available at www.toyota.com/recall and by calling Lexus Customer Service at 1-800-255-3987 or Toyota Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331. A complete list of the affected vehicles is available in the NHTSA press release. In addition, vehicle owners may contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Companies: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.

MainStory: TopStory ProductRecallsNews NHTSANews MotorVehiclesNews MotorEquipmentNews

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