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Air Bag Recall....

By cirrus, August 11, 2015

Our 2005 LE got her recall for airbags today....or more so the letter that says...."as soon as they figure out how to make 1 billion of these modules will let you know".

But what I found amazing was this line that went something the mean time don't let anyone use the passenger seat.

So does that mean the module in the drivers side is okay?

At this point, I would say the driver's side is OK. Most of the Takata recalls that affected Toyota/Lexus were only the passenger side airbag modules. Only a small range of Toyota Rav4s had their driver's side airbags included in the recall list.

I'm surprised that they said to not let anyone side on the passenger side. Most of the defective units that caused bodily harm were on the driver's side - where the inflation system is basically pointed right at your head. On the passenger side, the blast is directed up toward the windshield/ceiling. They could still get hurt, but the likelihood was lessened, as the blast wasn't directed at the person directly.

No kiddin....I thought both sides would be covered. Yea is said to not let passengers use the front seat. My wife said...."go pickup my twin sister from work".......I said...."sorry honey....says I cant give rides to passengers".....she yells...."your 2011 Rolla isn't in the recall...its my car". Damn........default_wink)))

Well the airbag replacement module finally showed up. But I don't get why its just the passenger side? Are the drivers side made by someone different for the 2005's? Or made differently? Odd.

That's great to hear! I'm sure that took some load off your mind.

Sure, the likelyhood is remote that there will be an issue with the passenger side airbag causing injury - from a statistical standpoint / the scientist in me - but does nothing to curtail my fear that if that airbag pops it will be one of those that explodes into shrapnel.

As for why only the passenger side - you'll have to ask Toyota. More than likely, it is due to how they are manufactured (steering wheel specific to Toyota specs - so has to be done inhouse. Passenger side airbag, possible be more generic or has a spec that Toyota cannot fill in costs/time/quantity).

From an industry standpoint - not that unusual. Some assembly line - two cars, back to back, could be assembled on the same line with two separate sku's for a part. Sometimes they just run out of a part or switch vendors mid-production. That was what made this airbag recall so difficult to straighten out - not all manufacturing plants kept track of what part went in what vehicle, they never had the need or requirement to keep that resolution of control on the build side.

Yea I was worried all along it was both so I didnt let the wife drive it on snowy days. So to hear it was just the passenger one surprised me. I did email Toyota who got back to me right away. This is what was said...

Takata is only one of several suppliers Toyota uses for airbag system components, including front passenger airbag inflator assemblies. Your vehicle includes a number of airbags and other safety components that may be sourced from Takata (including the drivers side airbag). However, these components may be different in actual design, built in a different location or manufacturing plant, or assembled during a different period than the inflator assemblies currently involved in the existing recall.


The issue might seems to be anything Takata has made over the past 10 years will have this issue. They just said another huge amount of cars will need them replaced. What I'm concerned with is right they know the driver side one on mine is good or bad? Or are they still testing all these different models to see what happens to them? Or going off accident reports? I thought my Honda buddies said they are doing both sides on their cars going back to 2003 so they asked why isnt Toy doing that just to be safe? I dont own anymore Honda's to verify that Honda is doing that but if they are then it does unsettle me abit hoping Toy is getting this right.

Yeah, this is looking more like a total CF.

Initially, they were going by the accident reports - then from there, they've isolated to a possible inflator design / chemical load. Note, that this doesn't mean that every other airbag (non-Takata) out there is 100% safe. From a statistical standpoint - these defective airbags don't vary much from other airbag manufacturers - as they average about 17-20 deaths annually related to airbag injuries.

Another issue could be related to poor records management on Takata's side. They don't know where all the defective airbags went, so that puts the weight on the end manufacturer to check/test their stock. Some companies just blanket recalled any Takata airbag, just to err on the side of caution.

Important to note that not ALL of Takata airbags have been proven problematic - right now, they think they found the possible culprit design. Hard to nail down a possible defect when there are more than 10 different airbag inflator designs from the same company, with different chemical gas generators.

More concerning - recent reports seem to point to even the revised Takata airbags with a vented inflator and non-corrosive/less powerful charge are having new issues! Details of which are still pending.

Yea some designs like on the Honda's are driver side only....the Toy's are passenger side. And like you said there are so many different designs...ect. Having worked in the auto world for some years I cant believe that Takata could be that sloppy with their record keeping and never get slapped around...but from what I'm hearing it was the North American plants that seem to be the issue.

I also heard like you said the newer ones might have issues....wonderful....I agree...its turning into a CF.

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