The Australian arms of Nissan and Toyota have both expanded the scope of their individual recalls to address potential defects in airbags manufactured by Japanese company Takata.
For Toyota Australia, the recall of 181,000 vehicles produced between May 2003 and March 2007 covers a range of popular models that includes the Corolla, Yaris and Echo, along with the RAV4 and the Avensis Verso people mover.
As the brand’s top-selling model, the Corolla is the hardest-hit by the recall, with 75,119 Australian examples built over the affected period.
The Yaris light car accounts for around 45,000 vehicles, and the RAV4 SUV makes up around 28,000.
Nissan is in the process of determining exactly which models are affected under its latest 102,000 vehicle recall, although nearly 13,000 examples of the Micra - built between September 2010 and October 2011 - were already identified in November 2014.
The recalls are the latest in a global drama that has affected many premium and volume-selling brands from Japan, Europe and the US.
The fault centres on the airbag’s steel inflator units, which can crack or disintegrate upon inflation, showering the occupants with potentially-lethal metal fragments.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that insufficiently sealed airbag compartments may be at risk of allowing moisture into the space, affecting the system’s structure and operation.
"While precise root cause remains undetermined, the clear association with high humidity has suggested that moisture and time are factors in this defect," NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge said.
Already, around 100,000 vehicles have been recalled in Australia over this defect.
More than 31 million vehicles around the world are understood to have been equipped with the potentially lethal airbag, which has left at least six dead in the US.
No injuries or deaths have been reported in Australia.
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