Our new Minister of Transport, YB Anthony Loke, announced last week that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will not allow vehicles involved in the Takata Airbag recall which have not get the replacement done, to renew their insurance if they have not undergone replacement.
The announcement was made following a fatal accident involving a Honda City last month where the death of the driver was caused by a rupture of a recalled airbag inflator. The vehicle involved in this crash was included in a recall announced on May 21, 2015
Following the announcement by the MOT, UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd, the distributor of Toyota and Lexus Vehicles in Malaysia has issued a statement saying that it fully supports the government’s decision and seriousness in handling the Takata Airbag replacement issue.
“Since 2013, Toyota Motor Corporation has been actively addressing this issue. The affected vehicles have been identified and distributors worldwide have been informed to initiate Special Service Campaigns. During these campaigns, the airbag inflator modules have been replaced at no charge to the owners,” explained Mr. Akio Takeyama, Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor.
The replacement of the Takata SRS airbag system’s inflator module is necessary because of propellant degradation within the module which can cause the airbag to break up when inflating. This may result in sharp metal pieces being sprayed towards the driver and/or front passenger, causing serious injuries or even death. The defect affects millions of vehicles worldwide made over the past 15 years by many different vehicle manufacturers.
To date, UMWT has reported a completion rate of 91% for Lexus vehicles below 3 years old and 53% for Toyota vehicles below 6 years old for the replacement of the inflator modules.
The affected Toyota vehicles were manufactured from 2001–2014, while the recalled Lexuses were manufactured between 2007 and 2016.
UMW Toyota also urges owners of older Toyota and Lexus vehicles to come forward to have the affected airbag inflator modules replaced quickly.
“Safety is our highest priority and we have made every effort to contact owners through various means. We are grateful to the Transport Minister for his concern and will fully support this initiative,” said Mr. Ravindran K., President of UMW Toyota Motor.
Toyota has created a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) checker on its website to allow Toyota owners to check if their vehicles are involved in any special service campaign including the Takata airbag inflator module replacement.
Affected customers will have to provide their contact details to enable an after-sales representative to contact them with arrangements for the replacement of the affected inflator module.
Besides the online checker, Toyota owners can also find out about any other ongoing Special Service Campaigns by calling the Toyota free-phone at 1800-8-TOYOTA (869682).