Toyota begins recall actions

Toyota New Zealand’s recall for a fuel tank issue has been followed by another overseas.


AN action to remedy a possible fuel tank fault is just one of two recalls triggered by Toyota and its high-brow Lexus brand in the past day.

Since Toyota New Zealand has announced intention to check out 36,961 cars due to a possible fault involving the charcoal canister fitted to the fuel tank, another action has begun overseas – this one to do with airbags.

Palmerston North-based TNZ has yet to signal if it is affected by the second movement, which affects Prius and Lexus models from 2008 to 2012.

Toyota and other carmakers have over the past years been rocked by millions of recalls over problems with airbags from Japanese supplier company Takata.

The latest recall does not involve Takata products and the problem has not been linked to any fatalities or injuries.

Overnight media reports say the recall includes some 495,000 cars sold in North America, 743,000 in Japan as well as vehicles in Europe, China and “other regions”. It does not cite what those other regions area.

In a statement relating to the US recall, the carmaker said the vehicles had an airbag inflator that could have a small crack in a weld which could widen over time. The airbag could partially inflate and parts of the inflator could enter the vehicle interior, leading to "an increased risk of injury".

Safety devices made by Takata have been linked to 11 deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Globally, 12 carmakers have been affected with more than 100 million Takata-related recalls under way or expected.

The local market fuel tank action, meanwhile, affects new and used import Toyota and Lexus vehicles from a pool of 2.8 million worldwide.

Toyota Corolla/Auris, Priu, Prius PHV, SAI and Lexus CT200h and H205h models manufacturer between 2006 and 2015 are involved.

TNZ says there is a potential for the canister fixed to the fuel tank could develop a crack. If the crack is present, it has potential to expand and cause a minor fuel leak when the vehicle has a full tank of fuel.

There have been no record incidents of this occurring in New Zealand.

The charcoal canister serves to prevent fuel emissions being released into the atmosphere.

Owners of the vehicles, which are traceable through registrations data, are being contacted by TNZ.

The a check and any repair will be undertaken free of charge and is expected to take two to three hours. Given the scale of the recall, the process might keep Toyota and Lexus dealerships buys for months.

Two weeks ago Lexus announced a recall for an infotainment fault, but this was restricted to the United States.