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Toyota recalls 247,000 vehicles over defective Takata air bags

Toyota recalls 247,000 vehicles over defective Takata air bags

NEW YORK: Toyota Motor Corp recalled 247,000 cars, SUVs and pickup trucks in the US because of potentially defective front passenger air bag inflators.

These faulty bags from Japan’s Takata Corp can rupture and spray metal shrapnel, according to US safety regulators.

Several automakers recalled vehicles in June due to the Takata air bags fault to more than 4.5 million.

The regional recalls by Toyota and other automakers including Honda Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Chrysler Group began in high-humidity areas of the United States after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started investigating reports of air bag explosions in Florida and Puerto Rico.

Prompted by NHTSA, Takata and automakers have been trying to determine whether exposure to high humidity caused any defect in the inflators collected though the regional recalls.

“At this point, the issue appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity,” NHTSA said in a statement. “However, we are leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue.”

Over the last six years, Takata has recalled about 16 million vehicles globally for defective air bags, including the regional recalls. At least four deaths, all in Honda cars, have been linked to the defective air bags.

Affected models include the Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Tundra, Sequoia and the Lexus SC that were produced from 2001 to 2004.

Other automakers affected by the regional recalls include BMW, Ford Motor, Mazda Motor, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor and Fuji Heavy Industries’ Subaru.