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Takata airbag recalls extend to Lexus

Lexus Australia has announced it will recall 2166 vehicles over an airbag fault, the latest in a long list of malfunctioning airbags made by embattled Japanese parts manufacturer Takata.

The recall affects 2156 examples of the IS small car built in the 2012 calendar year, as well as 10 of the short-lived LFA supercar produced between February 2011 and June 2012.

As is the case with previous Takata-related recalls, the fault lies in the airbag inflators, in this case on the front passenger side, which may be susceptible to moisture intrusion over time caused by high humidity and fluctuating temperatures.

If this were to happen, it could make the inflator assembly prone to rupture during an accident, increasing the risk of injury to the occupant.

Affected IS variants include the 250, 250C, 350 and range-topping F.

Due to a shortage of replacement parts, vehicles will not be repaired until late this year.

It has been a disastrous decade for Takata, which supplies airbags for a number of global car manufacturers including General Motors, Ford, Daimler, BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Subaru, Nissan, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Toyota/Lexus.

The total number of global recalls relating to Takata airbags has risen to around 100 million since the recalls began in 2008, including over 68 million in the US alone.

The fault has been the cause of 16 deaths globally, with most of those occurring in the US.

Lexus says it will alert affected IS owners by mail and will extend phone calls to affected LFA customers, however due to a shortage of replacement parts, vehicles will not be repaired until late this year.

The airbag will be replaced free of charge and will take approximately two hours for IS owners, while LFA owners will have to wait two days for their problem to be fixed.

The luxury car manufacturer said there is no discernible way to tell whether a car has a faulty airbag, but if customers have any questions they can contact their local Lexus dealer or call the Lexus Customer Assistance Centre.

Should Lexus owners be expected to drive a car with a potentially hazardous fault until parts become available at the end of the year? Tell us what you think in the comments below.