Toyota expands recall prompted by airbag defect

TOYOTAJapanese automaker Toyota on Tuesday expanded a safety recall to include 1.37 million additional Toyota and Lexus cars equipped with defective airbags.

“The announcement brings the total number of Toyota and Lexus vehicles recalled in the U.S. because of the defect to approximately 2,915,000,’’ the company said in a statement.

The vehicles being recalled are Corollas, Tundras, Sequoias and Lexus models sold in the U.S.

The company suspected their front passenger airbag inflators “could potentially be susceptible to rupture when deployed and seriously injure vehicle occupants.”

Toyota is one of 11 automakers that have been plagued by the airbag problem, which is linked to no fewer than six deaths in the U.S. and Malaysia and numerous injuries.

Investigators suspected the inflator caused the airbags to rupture and spray metal fragments when they deploy in an accident.

Takata has admitted the airbags are defective, and last month U.S. government regulators said there were about 34 million vehicles in the U.S. would have to be recalled.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony, Foxx said it was “probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history.”

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the airbags in 2014. (dpa/NAN)

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