Toyota Australia has been forced to initiate a safety recall on approximately 23,968 Corolla, HiLux, Fortuner and Prius vehicles due to an electrical issue that could potentially deactivate affected models' airbag systems.
Affected units are built between June and December 2015, and are equipped with an airbag system that uses multiple sensors to detect impact during a collision.
Toyota Australia says that due to two separate manufacturing issues, there is a possibility that the insulation layers of the integrated circuit (IC) chips could peel away, exposing an open circuit.
If this problem occurs, the airbag warning light will illuminate and the side/curtain shield airbags and/or front airbags may become deactivated.
Although some Toyota vehicles have been identified as part of the Takata airbag recall, this particular safety call back is unrelated.
So far, there have been no reported incidents or injuries as a result of this fault.
Airbags in vehicles affected by the Takata recall can misdeploy causing injury, whereas Toyota's latest airbag sensor recall is due to the risk of non-deployment in the event of a collision.
Non-deployment of the side/curtain shield airbags and/or front airbags could add a significant risk of injury in the event of a collision.
So far, there have been no reported incidents or injuries as a result of this fault, but Toyota Australia plans to contact all affected vehicle owners advising them of the recall.
Replacement parts are expected to become available during the second quarter of this year, at which point Toyota will re-contact owners so they can make an appointment to have their vehicle inspected at their preferred dealer.
The inspection process is expected to take approximately 30 minutes, but if sensors do need to be replaced, the repair time may vary between one and seven hours depending on the vehicle model and the number of sensors that require replacing.
The inspection and part replacement will be carried out free of charge.
Owners seeking more information can contact the Toyota recall campaign helpline (1800 987 366).
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