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Toyota recalls Echo and RAV4 due to faulty airbag

Recall echo: Toyota's Echo light hatch has been recalled due to a possible fault with the driver's side front airbag that could result in an increased chance of injury in the event of deployment.

More recalls hit Toyota as Takata airbag issues encompasses Echo and RAV4

1 Dec 2014

TOYOTA Australia has recalled more than 8000 Toyota Echo and RAV4 models built between late 2002 and 2003 due to potential issues with the driver's side front airbag.

The fault, part of the global Takata airbag recall, relates to propellant wafers used in assembly which could be adversely affected by humidity.

Although there have been no confirmed incidents in Australia, this fault could result in a rupture of the inflator, creating metallic fragments which could then be projected at occupants during airbag deployment, increasing the risk of injury.

According to Toyota, approximately 8000 Echo small-cars, built from December 2002 to September 2003, and 260 RAV4 medium-sized SUVs, built between July and August 2003, are affected and all owners will be contacted by mail.

Toyota says that it will replace the driver's side airbag at no cost, and that the process will take approximately one hour to complete.

This recall is related to a much larger global recall currently affecting Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata, which has already seen a recall of more than 17 million cars worldwide for faults in the front passenger airbag.

About 150,000 vehicles have been recalled in Australia over the Takata airbag issue, with Japanese car-makers Nissan, Honda, Toyota and Mazda making up the bulk of the recalls with 26,000, 43,414, 19,600 and 4639 vehicles respectively.

Earlier this year, Toyota Australia was forced to recall about 142,900 HiLux utes and 2050 LandCrusier Prado SUVs due to an unrelated airbag wiring problem, as well almost 120,000 Yaris models for a potential fault in the front seats.

Additionally, Toyota was forced to recall about 10,800 Lexus models as well as another 650 Kluger SUVs due to a potential fuel system leak.

These recalls have not stopped customers from flocking to the Japanese juggernaut, with year-to-date sales sitting at 168,491 vehicles to the end of October, and although that figure is a 4.8 per cent decrease over the same period last year, Toyota is still on track to take the title of best-selling marque by some margin.

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