Toyota and Honda have announced a massive recall of over 6 million vehicles because of different safety concerns over airbags.
For Toyota, the recall concerns airbag control units that monitor when an impact is severe enough to deploy the airbags. According to the recall, the sensors in the airbag control units may fail to interpret or receive the correct signals from crash sensors and fail to deploy airbags and tighten seatbelts in a crash. Toyota says this problem is more likely to happen during certain types of crashes, including underride crashes, in which the front of a vehicle wedges beneath the rear of another vehicle.
The Toyota recall is across multiple models made over the past decade, including approximately 2.9 million 2011 through 2019 Corolla sedans, 2011 through 2013 Matrix hatchbacks, 2012 through 2018 Avalon sedans, and 2013 through 2018 Avalon Hybrid sedans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified two “substantial frontal crash events,” including one fatality, involving Toyota products where electrical overstress of the airbag sensors is suspected as the likely cause of airbags not deploying.
For Honda, the recall concerns the inflator on the airbag which may cause the airbag to under or overinflate, a potentially fatal issue for drivers and passengers involved in collisions. In particular, the recalled airbag inflators could explode if a propellant they contain degrades after long-term exposure to high humidity or extreme temperatures, according to documents released by the NHTSA.
The Honda recall affects 2.4 million cars in the US and 300,000 in Canada, including Honda and Acura models between 1996 through 2003. Honda stated it knows of three cases of newly recalled inflators rupturing — one that occurred during a 2012 crash in Texas and two others that happened during “scrapping activity” in Japan.
These recalls come on the heals of a massive airbag recall for Japanese automakers from 2013-2017 for airbags manufactured by the Takata Corporation. The Takata recalls arose out of problems with the chemical solution used in the inflator as well as faulty housing units which could push metal frames out with the airbag, causing significant injury. Over 40 million automobiles were affected by the Takata airbag recalls in the 2010s. The recalls and defective airbags resulted in at least 16 deaths worldwide and over $1 billion in fines being paid to the Department of Justice.
Both Honda and Toyota said they will notify affected owners by mail and fix the problems in the most recent recalls for free.
Here at the Poppe Law Firm, we represent individuals and families from all across Kentucky and Indiana who have been injured in serious car and truck accidents and wrecks, motorcycle accidents and wrecks, and injured as a result of a defective product in a product’s liability action. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from an accident, wreck, or defective product, please contact us.