Toyota Recalls 190,000 More Cars Over Defective Takata Air Bags

Dec 04, 2014 12:00 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

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Toyota Motors is calling back nearly 190,000 more cars to replace potentially defective air bags made by Takata Corp.

Japan's regulator said it could change its recall system in order to respond better to what it called an "unprecedented" crisis.

The transport ministry, which acts as the auto industry regulator, said it is considering revising parts of the existing recall system, but provided no further details, according to Reuters.

"Changing the law would be a lot more involved, but there are things we can change outside the law," said Masato Sahashi, head of the ministry's recall division. "What we're considering is not something that would take as long as a month or two."

The U.S. auto safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has been criticized lately for not acting fast enough to ensure wider recalls of vehicles with possible defective air bags, according to Reuters.

Toyota's recall follows an explosion of a Takata-made air bag inflator in a 2003 Toyota subcompact at a scrapyard in Japan last month. The cause of the potential problem is not yet known, the ministry said.

The automaker will recall 185,000 vehicles across 19 models including the Corolla and Alphard in Japan, and 5,000 in China to investigate the issue. Toyota isn't aware of injuries or deaths related to the problem.

All vehicles subject to the recall were manufactured between September 2002 and December 2003, according to Reuters.

The recall also covers vehicles of the same model year as the Will Cypha car that exploded last month that were equipped with the same type of inflator. Affected inflators were made at Takata's Monclova factory in Mexico.

Takata's inflators have been linked to five deaths, in the United States and Malaysia. The inflators have been exploding too "forcefully" and spraying metal shards inside vehicles, according to safety regulators. 

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