Toyota Australia has announced a driver’s airbag recall for Corolla models built between 2001 and 2005, and despite similarities to the massive global Takata airbag recall, Toyota stresses that this recall action is unrelated.
The recall applies to specifically to South African-built models (Toyota sourced that generation of Corolla from both Japan and South Africa) with both the regular ZZE122 model, and ZZE123 Sportivo affected.
A total of 20,129 vehicles are involved. The issue relates to propellant wafers in the driver’s airbag unit that may degrade over time as a result of repeated volume change that may occur with repeated exposure to high temperatures.
As a result the airbag could fail to deploy properly in an accident, increasing the risk to vehicle occupants.
Replacement parts aren’t expected to become available until the fourth quarter of 2017, but Toyota has announced the recall early so that drivers can take extra care when driving. The company suggests that vehicles are still safe to use in normal circumstances, with the issue only apparent during an accident where the airbags are deployed.
Owners of affected vehicles will be contacted by mail to notify them of the condition, and again when parts become available. South African-built Corollas can be identified by their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which starts with AHT for South African production or JTD for Japanese-built cars, which aren’t a part of the recall (consult your owner’s manual for VIN locations).
Any owner wishing to know more can contact Toyota’s recall campaign hotline on 1800 987 366, or speak with their local Toyota dealer.