Nissan SUV air bag injuries spur 1.6m Toyota recalls

Toyota has once again issued a recall for 1.6 million vehicles in Japan after a Takata air bag injured a passenger in October.

According to Masato Sahashi, a Japan transport official, the Vitz compact car and 21 other models had previously been recalled to replace the Takata air bag inflators based on whether or not they contained air leaks. The recall was reinstated after an inflator in a Nissan X-Trail SUV, later found not to contain an air leak, ruptured and injured a passenger.

The incident exacerbates a difficult predicament for the air bag manufacturers, which to date includes 19 million vehicles and near to 100 injuries.

Takata has been instructed to remove a propellant which blows up the air bag by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Burst air bag inflators have already taken the lives of eight motorists in Honda Motor Co. cars.

The order from NHTSA provoked Ford, Mazda, Honda, Toyota and Nissan to declare they would not be using air bag inflators with ammonium nitrate propellant in cars under development.

Takata shares fell 39% during a record three-day plunge following NHTSA’s announcement on November 3.

The firm reported an 8.66bn yen ($70m) loss in the second quarter and cut its full-year net income forecast to 5bn yen, a quarter of its earlier projection, after incurring losses related to recalls.

During a press conference on November 4 President Shigehisa Takada agreed there was a risk to the company’s survival.