Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Toyota does a recall on a recall

Toyota issues its seventh recall in six months.

Toyota issues its seventh recall in six months, doubles up on one from last year.

Toyota has issued possibly its most embarrassing recall to date: it's a recall on a recall, inspecting the same batch of 19,600 cars it checked in April last year. 

Faulty airbag propellant affected certain Toyota Corolla small cars, Lexus SC430 convertibles and Avensis Verso people movers built between January 2001 and May 2003.

Toyota had a batch of serial numbers to check against, but it turns out that not all the potentially faulty airbags were covered. A statement from Toyota said: "The recall was announced in April last year due to the possibility that the front passenger airbag may have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant."

The company says the repair process for this recall "has now changed" and Toyota Australia "will replace the front passenger airbag inflator in all impacted vehicles". Following last year's inspection, Toyota says only a small number of airbag inflators were replaced.

"Some of (relevant) serial numbers may have been left off the list," said Toyota Australia spokeswoman Beck Angel. "Customers that have already had the part replaced as a result of last year's campaign will not be impacted by this recall," the Toyota statement said.

The figure of 19,600 vehicles (of more than 2 million globally) may sound small but it's a recall that should have been taken care of a year ago.

Toyota Australia has now issued seven recalls so far this year, more than any other manufacturer locally, and the number of cars being called back to dealers has exceeded 400,000. Toyota recalled almost 300,000 cars and utes in April for faults including a potential airbag failure and seats that may slip forward.

Owners of 179,000 Hilux utes built between April 2004 and the end of 2009 and 118,600 Yaris small cars made between June 2005 and May 2010 have been caught up in global recall of 6.76 million Toyotas.

Last year the car giant issued seven recalls in Australia and nine in 2012. In March this year Toyota was slugged with a world record A$1.3 billion fine in the US for being slow to react to the recall of 3.8 million cars sold there because floor mats could cause the accelerator pedal to stick. The April Toyota recall is one of the biggest campaigns locally for any brand. 

In October 2012, Toyota Australia recalled almost 300,000 cars -- from a 7.4 million global batch -- across six models including the Corolla, Kluger, RAV4, Yaris, Aurion and Camry built between 2006 and 2010. That recall was to replace the electric window master switch because "the switch assembly may overheat and melt".

In March 2006, more than 129,000 Commodores, Monaros and Statesmans were recalled after Holden discovered the seat-mounted side airbags in 13 customer cars activated "under circumstances which did not warrant inflation".  In 2004, Holden recalled 115,000 Commodores in Australia (and 20,000 overseas) to replace faulty power steering hoses.

Toyota owners can call the Toyota recall campaign helpline on 1800 643 242.