O, how the mighty have fallen! Toyota, the poster boy for Just-In-Time manufacturing when it came to rolling out vehicles off its production line, has been affected yet again by a possible airbag defect. I am quite sure that there will be many among us who would throw a wild guess, saying that the culprit behind the scenes - or should I say, behind the wheel, is none other than Takata. If so, for the record, this is not the first time that Takata's airbags have been said to be defective, but it does not seem that the airbag's inflators from Takata are at fault here. Still, the massive vehicle recall by Toyota around the globe will affect a whopping 1.43 million vehicles in this round.
This is starting to get annoying, especially when you take into consideration how Toyota is not the only vehicle manufacturer who has been affected by Takata's defective airbag. Just a couple of days ago, a lady in Malaysia died when her Honda City got involved in a minor fender bender with a Mercedes Benz, resulting in Takata's airbag inflating while sending a shrapnel into the lady's chest. Sadly, she did not emerge from the accident alive due to the wayward shrapnel. It is widely suspected that the airbag inflator is to blame for this happening.
Toyota is keeping their fingers crossed that nothing of that sort will happen with their customers in the meantime, and hence, issued a recall for 1.43 million vehicles around the globe so that they do not take any chances of a possible airbag defect.
Do bear in mind, however, that this recall has nothing to do with the inflators manufactured by Takata Corp. of Japan. As to the issue at hand, Toyota claims that select inflators in the recalled vehicles might feature a tiny crack in a weld, which poses the danger of growing in due time. Once the crack has widened enough, there is a very good chance of it resulting in the separation of the inflator chambers.
In the event that such a separation happens, it might end up with the airbags inflating partially, with the inflator ending up as a deadly projectile as it is "shot" within the confines of the vehicle. While death is unlikely, the possibility of injury ranks pretty high on the list, so it is wise for Toyota to be safe rather than sorry.
As for the affected vehicles from Toyota under this recall, they would comprise of the Prius, the Prius PHV and the Lexus CT200h. As long as any of these models rolled out between October 2008 and April 2012, it would be best for you to bring it in to Toyota for a fix. Across the globe, 743,000 units are being recalled in the Land of the Rising Sun, 495,000 in North America, while Europe will see 141,000 recalls and a mere 9,000 in the world's most populous country, China. As of June 20, 2016, Toyota is unaware of any injury or death from such an issue, which is good news.