Over 38,000 cars in Ireland recalled over airbag defects

Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan recall millions of vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2004

Fri, Apr 12, 2013, 06:25

MICHAEL McALEER

Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan are recalling over 38,000 cars inIreland as part of a recall involving at least 3 million vehicles worldwide over possible defects in passenger airbags.

In Ireland it represents nearly two per cent of the entire car fleet on the road and involves vehicles built between November 2000 and March 2004.

Toyota Ireland is recalling 23,290 vehicles. The models involved are Yaris (10,380), Corolla (11,149) and Avensis (1,761).

Nissan is to recall just over 13,500 cars. The models affected are the Almera, Navara, Pathfinder, Patrol, Tarrano, Tino and the X Trail.

Honda Ireland is to recall around 1,500 cars. The Honda cars in question mainly date back to 2001/2002 and include some Civic, Jazz, and CRV models.

Mazda is recalling 390 cars in Ireland, mainly expected to be Mazda6 models built between 2002 and 2003.

All four manufacturers are liaising with the Japanese headquarters to identify the chassis numbers of the vehicles involved and then trace the current owners with the help of the Government’s national vehicle driver file. One spokesman said it could be mid-May before the owners are contacted.

Toyota Ireland managing director David Shannon said the recall involves an issue with the front passenger air bag inflators which could have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant wafers.

Improperly manufactured propellant wafers could cause the inflator to rupture and the front passenger air bag to deploy abnormally in the event of a crash.

“This a voluntary and purely precautionary measure by Toyota to reassure our customers that their interest is our Number 1 priority. Even though in some circumstances these vehicles are nearly 13 years old Toyota places the highest importance on customer’s satisfaction and safety,” Mr Shannon said.

Toyota announced it was recalling 1.73 million vehicles worldwide on concern that a malfunctioning inflator in the airbag could inadvertently deploy the front-seat airbags or activate the automatic seat belt restraints, Shino Yamada, a spokeswoman for the Toyota City, Japan-based automaker said.

Honda called back about 1.14 million vehicles globally, while Nissan called back a more than 137,000 units in Japan, the companies said in separate statements.

Ms Yamada said while five incidents of malfunctions have been reported though there were no accidents or injuries.

The cars being recalled were built between November 2000 and March 2004, she said.

Takata, a maker of auto components, is the firm that manufacturered the airbag inflator.

The scale of the recall is significant but not unprecedented. Recalls are relatively common in the motor industry. Last week Hyundai and its affiliate Kia recalled more than 1.7 million vehicles in the US from five model years for electronic defects.

About 1.1 million vehicles were affected by a possible malfunction that may prevent brake lights from illuminating and the cruise control from turning off, raising the risk of a crash, Hyundai said. Kia recalled 623,658 vehicles for the same defect. That recall did not involve cars in Europe.

Additional reporting: Bloomberg