Yesterday’s recalled news showed that automobile defects can happen on a number of levels, and not just simply during the manufacturing process. In this case, 3,235 Toyota models were recalled by Southeast Toyota Distributors because employees failed to properly install and calibrate passenger side airbag sensors, which means that the safety devices could either deploy unexpectedly or not at all. Either way, a breakdown in the inspection and preparation process could lead to serious injuries, which warranted a recall. But it was also important to note that Toyota Motor Corp. was not responsible for this recall, as it is merely the responsibility of Southeast Toyota Distributors.
That distinction is important because yesterday’s regional airbag recall may confuse consumers in regard to today’s national Toyota recall, which also involves defective airbags. Toyota is recalling approximately 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles in the U.S., as well as others in Japan, Canada and Mexico, because of a defective IC chip in the airbag control unit. Basically, the chip can be distracted by other electrical devices in the car, and that interference can lead to sudden unexpected deployment of the airbags.
According to NBC News, a Toyota spokesman stated that the company is aware of 18 cases of injury caused by these defective airbags thus far, although the majority of those injuries have occurred in Japan. This new recall is Toyota’s third to involve more than 1 million cars since October – including the recall of 2.7 million hybrids because of steering defects – and repairing the airbags will cost the company approximately $55 million.
Regardless, Toyota officials will soon begin contacting Corolla owners to schedule appointments with local dealerships to replace the defective IC chips. To fix this problem, Toyota will provide electrical signal filters to the airbag controls. Consumers can also contact Toyota at (800) 331-4331 with additional questions or for further recall details.