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Japanese carmaker Toyota has added 57,000 more of its vehicles to the growing number of automobiles being recalled due to potentially defective Takata airbags.
Toyota is recalling Vitz (known as the Yaris in some markets) subcompact cars and RAV4 crossover models made in 2002 and 2003, reports Reuters. The latest recall includes 40,000 vehicles in Japan and 6,000 in Europe, with the remaining vehicles spread throughout the globe, not including North America or the United States.
However, a recall issued earlier this year by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration brought the number of vehicles in the U.S. recalled due to similar safety issues with Takata airbags to more than seven million, including 877,000 Toyota vehicles.
Airbag Defect Linked to Five Deaths
Toyota's recall came after a fifth death was linked to problems with airbags manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp. Defects in the airbags' inflator mechanisms can cause the inflators to explode upon deployment, sending metal shrapnel into a car's passenger compartment.
Worldwide more than 16 million cars have been recalled since 2008, reports Reuters. In the U.S., regional recalls were initially limited to cars in areas with high humidity, as the problem with airbag inflators was believed to be linked to high humidity. More recently, however, recalls have expanded to vehicles nationwide.
How to Determine If Your Call Has Been Recalled
To determine whether your car is included in this or other recalls issued by automobile manufacturers, the NHTSA has set up a searchable database. Consumers can search using a vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and see not only whether the vehicle has been subject to a recall within the last 15 years but also whether recall repairs have been made.
The NHTSA searchable database can be found at the Safecar.gov website. In addition, individual auto manufacturers are now mandated to maintain an online database of recalled vehicles searchable by VIN.