While automotive industry supplier Takata has been in the news almost daily for the past few weeks over safety flaws in airbags installed in millions of cars and trucks, we’ve held off reporting on it until Transport Canada began issuing its own recalls.
In case you’ve somehow missed reading or hearing about it in the news, more than 34 million vehicles have been recalled in the U.S. due to faulty airbags that can deploy with too much force and fire metal fragments at the faces of the vehicle occupants the airbags are meant to protect. So far, eight deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to Takata’s faulty components.
We’re getting a first glance at how many Canadian vehicles will be affected: Toyota and Nissan have recalled more than 77,000 vehicles sold here to replace airbag inflators in RAV4, XTrail, Pathfinder and Sentra vehicles from the 2004, 2005 and 2006 model years. The specific flaw is that over time, moisture can accumulate inside the inflator and cause it to rupture when the airbag deploys, creating metal debris that could be propelled at high velocity into the vehicle cabin.
Potential for death and injury aside, it’s an interesting story because Takata recently admitted fault after years of insisting there was nothing wrong with its airbags. Read up on the latest in this New York Times piece. And here you can read our initial coverage of this issue, before anyone knew just how serious it was.
While we’re at it, there are a few other recalls worth mentioning.
Chrysler issued its own airbag recall, unrelated to the Takata scandal: in six (yes, just six) 2015 model-year Challengers, the side impact curtain airbags may be missing a bolt that could cause improper deployment in the event of a crash. Dealers will inspect the affected cars and repair or replace the bolts where necessary.
From Acura and Subaru come recalls to deal with collision avoidance systems.
In 3,400 Acura MDX and RLX models, the collision mitigation braking system (CBMS) could identify roadside fences and guardrails as obstacles and apply emergency braking. Honda Canada is asking owners of the affected vehicles to visit a dealer, who will update the CBMS software.
Subaru is recalling 3,500 vehicles fitted with its EyeSight driver assist system, as the owner’s manual may contain sections of French text that was improperly translated from the English version, and operation of the vehicle according to the mistranslated French text may increase the risk of a crash. Subaru will send corrected French-language EyeSight manuals to the owners of affected cars, and copies will also be available through the brand’s dealerships.