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Toyota Australia pushes on with Takata airbag recall

Toyota has recently called back more examples of the 2013 Corolla over its potentially dangerous Takata airbags.

Toyota Motor Corporation Australia (TMCA) has said that approximately 71.7 per cent of its vehicles caught up in the Takata airbag recall had already been rectified prior to the federal government's compulsory call back that went into effect on April 3.

As of March 31 this year, 416,322 of the total 580,492 Toyota and Lexus models recalled had already had their faulty airbags replaced, including 26,959 units that were originally fitted with the more dangerous Alpha airbags.

Speaking at the national HiLux media launch in South Australia last week, TMCA vice-president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley emphasised that its Takata recall program remained on track.

The 2013 Corolla, Yaris and Rukus get the ball rolling, with 5993, 708 and 338 examples added to their respective notices that were issued a few years ago.

"Our customer safety is always our priority, and we are doing everything possible to fast-track getting these cars rectified quickly as possible," he said. "At the moment, we’re progressing to plan.

"We appeal to anybody that’s been notified to please bring their car back to their local Toyota dealership, certainly on Alpha airbags. We’ve got the supply, the parts – we’re ready to go ... we want to expedite the rectification process as soon as possible."

Mr Hanley also suggested that while Toyota's local arm has taken a proactive approach to the Takata recall, the government-issued compulsory call back has done a lot to raise awareness.

"We’ve taken a very proactive approach since the very initial stages," he said.

"We certainly welcome any sort of action that encourages people to bring their car back.

"In terms of contacting guests and making vigorous efforts to expedite this process, we continue on."

Mr Hanley also added: "One of the positive outcomes of the mandatory recall is that it’s heightened awareness.

"All of a sudden we’ve got people contacting us that are now understanding the seriousness of the matter at hand," he said.

Some dealerships have dedicated teams to deal with the Takata airbag recall. Some dealerships have dedicated teams to deal with the Takata airbag recall.

"Generally, we’ve seen an increase in people contacting us and bringing their cars back.

"(The automotive) industry’s definitely committed as a whole, all of us, to try and rectify this Takata airbag concern as quickly as possible."

For carmakers involved, the Takata saga has put added strain on dealer networks, with many having to take on additional resources to conduct the free-of-charge replacement process, but Mr Hanley explained that Toyota dealers understood that the recall "is an absolute priority".

"Many of our dealers have put on extra shifts, additional skilled labour," he said. "Our dealer network has been totally supportive. They’re very acutely aware of our obligations.

Mr Hanley also told journalists that some dealerships have dedicated teams to deal with the Takata airbag recall.

While Toyota has taken a proactive approach to the Takata recall, the government-issued compulsory call back has done a lot to raise awareness. While Toyota has taken a proactive approach to the Takata recall, the government-issued compulsory call back has done a lot to raise awareness.

In light of the compulsory call back, TMCA announced that several of its previous recall notices will be expanded.

The 2013 Corolla, Yaris and Rukus get the ball rolling, with 5993, 708 and 338 examples added to their respective notices that were issued a few years ago.

Any Toyota customers who wish to know more on the Takata airbag recall – including a list of affected Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) – can search the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Product Safety Australia website.

Do you own a Toyota model caught up in the Takata airbag recall? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

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