LAGOS-Toyota Nigeria Limited has announced the recall of two of its fastest selling models, Yaris and Hilux, to fix some faults noticed with their airbags. The Managing Director, TNL, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo, said at a briefing in Lagos that the affected Yaris were those produced between 2003 and 2005, while the Hilux vehicles were those manufactured between 2003 and 2007.
He said the recall announcement was in line with the company’s concern for the continued safety of its customers.
Although recalls of new vehicles have become a regular news item in the global auto industry in order to replace or fix faulty units, only Toyota Nigeria has extended the offer to its customers in the country.
The TNL boss said the inflators of the affected vehicles had the potential of allowing moisture into the modules, which could lead to the inflators deploying abnormally.
Ade-Ojo said while the fault in the Hilux affected the driver’s side alone, it affected both the driver and passengers’ sides in the Yaris.
“We are taking this urgent remedial action as a responsible organisation whose public and customers’ safety is the soul of its business,” he said.
The company, Ade-Ojo explained, planned to check the modules and replace them in the recalled vehicles free of charge, especially for those vehicles purchased from any of its accredited dealers nationwide.
The TNL chief, however, said the company had no estimate of the number of vehicles with the faulty airbags.
He said the airbags were manufactured by Takata, one of the world’s leading suppliers of airbag systems.
Takata, according to him, also manufactures airbags for other auto brands.
Ade-Ojo, however, said that not all the units manufactured within those periods had problems.
He said that TNL was willing to fix other Toyota vehicles purchased from the grey market with similar problems, provided the manufacturers contacted the company for support.
Globally, the Takata airbag forced recalls involving Toyota, Nissan and Honda began last week, with the world’s biggest car manufacturer, Toyota recalling just below five million vehicles. Nissan announced the recall of about 1.56 million vehicles.
The United Kingdom’s Mirror reported that 1.27 million Toyota vehicles in Europe were affected in the latest recall.
Toyota GB said the UK cars involved would be tested and new airbag inflators fitted if necessary. The company said that there had been no injuries involving its vehicles.
A spokesman for the company said, “We have been conducting various investigations on the Takata-produced airbag inflators.
“Among the parts collected from the Japanese market, certain types of airbag inflators were found to have a potential for moisture intrusion over time. As a result, they could be susceptible to abnormal deployment in a crash. The relationship of moisture intrusion, if any, to the risk of inflator rupture is not known.”
Nissan said 100,263 of its vehicles were affected in the UK, covering the years 2004 to 2007.