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Toyota Australia recalls 180,000 vehicles over airbag shrapnel fears

Recall: The top-selling Toyota Corolla.

Toyota Australia has recalled more than 180,000 vehicles over fears that faulty airbags could spray shrapnel when deployed.

Thousands of Nissan vehicles in Australia are also affected, but a spokesperson was unable to provide exact numbers.

The Toyota vehicles affected were built between 2003 and 2007 and include the country's best-selling car, the Toyota Corolla, as well as popular models including the Yaris, RAV4, Echo and Avensis.

A Toyota statement said the recalls were due to potential moisture intrusion into the airbag inflators.

"If this happens, this could potentially make the inflator assembly prone to rupture during an accident, increasing the risk of injury to the occupant."

"There have been no incidents or injuries reported in Australia as a result of this condition," the statement said.

The latest action is an extension of a global recall that has now affected more than 30 million vehicles.

The company says that due to the size of the recall globally, replacement parts won't be available locally until early next year.

The latest action is an extension of a global recall that has now affected more than 30 million vehicles.

There is a risk that the the airbags could improperly inflate and rupture, potentially firing deadly shrapnel at occupants.

The current recall affects about 5 million Toyotas and almost 1.6 million Nissans worldwide.

At least five deaths have been linked to the defect, with one in the United States initially investigated as a murder due to her grisly injuries.

The current recall affects about 5 million Toyotas and almost 1.6 million Nissans worldwide.

"This will affect many of our markets, including Japan, Europe and North America," a Nissan spokesman told AFP, adding that the explosion risk was among a range of problems seen in the defective airbags. "There might be many factors. (But) we have seen risks that the metal casing for inflators can malfunction."

Nissan's recall affects a range of models produced between 2004 and 2008. Nissan said there were no reports of deaths or injuries linked to the recall.

The airbags are made by Japanese company Takata, which supplies about 20 per cent of the global car industry's airbags. Aside from Toyota and Nissan, the maker also supplies to Mazda, BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.

This is the second time Australian vehicles have been recalled over the defect. More than 110,000 cars were affected in a previous recall. Nissan has recalled almost 40,000 vehicles in Australia in two previous actions.

For further information, Toyota owners can contact the Toyota recall campaign helpline on 1800 987 366 or visit http://www.toyota.com.au.