— Toyota is taking action on exploding Takata air bags as the automaker announced a recall of 247,000 older vehicles to replace the passenger front air bags.
The air bags have metal canisters called inflators that can rupture when the air bags deploy and cause shards of metal to fly through the cabin of the vehicle. Takata inflators have been traced to four fatalities and numerous injuries, especially in areas where a lot of moisture is in the air.
Toyota names the recalled vehicles as the 2002-2005 Lexus SC and Toyota Sequoia, and the 2003-2005 Toyota Tundra, Corolla, Corolla Matrix and Pontiac Vibe. However, the recall applies only to those vehicles originally sold or currently registered in areas with absolute high humidity where moisture can cause problems with the air bags.
The automaker names the affected areas as southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa.
Toyota will notify owners of the Toyota and Lexus vehicles and General Motors will contact owners of affected Pontiac Vibe vehicles. Dealers will replace the passenger-side air bag inflator, that is, if the inflator is available. If it's not, dealers will disable the front passenger air bag and tell owners to keep everything out of the passenger seat until repairs are made.
The Toyota recall should begin around October 25, 2014, but GM doesn't know when it will be able to replace the inflators in the Pontiac Vibe.
Owners can contact Toyota at 800-331-4331 or GM at 800-521-7300.
As Toyota announced the above recalls the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a statement that warned owners of 4.7 million vehicles about exploding Takata air bags.