Toyota has recalled 1.7 more vehicles worldwide, 1.3 million of them in the U.S., due to possibly faulty – and potentially fatal – explodable Takata airbags, the auto manufacturer announced Wednesday.
It’s part of the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history, according to the Associated Press. This is on top of Ford Motor Co.’s 953,000-vehicle recall of last week, Reuters reported. All told, 37 million vehicles containing 50 million airbag inflators have been recalled, with 16.7 million still needing to be replaced, according to Reuters.
The Toyota safety recall covers models made between 2010 and 2016 and includes 4Runner models made between 2010 and 2016, Corollas and Matrixes made between 2010 and 2013, and Siennas from 2011 to 2014, Toyota said in a statement. Several variations of Lexus also fall under the recall.
The front passenger airbags are equipped with inflators that could be subject to the effects of “prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling, Toyota said. When activated, these degraded bag inflators could rupture, potentially causing “sharp metal fragments to pass through the airbag and spray directly at the driver and passengers, increasing the risk of serious injury or death,” Toyota said.
“At the heart of the problem is the airbag’s inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers, which in some cases has ignited with explosive force,” explained Consumer Reports in a primer on the issue. “If the inflator housing ruptures in a crash, metal shards from the airbag can be sprayed throughout the passenger cabin – a potentially disastrous outcome from a supposedly life-saving device.”
At least 23 people have died this way worldwide, including 15 in the United States, Reuters said. There have been more than 290 injuries. In total, 19 automakers are recalling more than 100 million potentially faulty inflators worldwide, Reuters said.
Honda and Acura have also recalled airbags in 2018, and General Motors did as well, according to Fortune. Takata filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the U.S. in 2017, and its remnants were bought by Key Safety Systems, according to Reuters, to form a subsidiary of Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp. called Joyson Safety Systems.