Toyota Is Replacing Takata Airbag Inflators It Once Said Were Safe

Takata Recall in Japan

Toyota Motor Corp is replacing airbag inflators from Takata Corp in 1.6 million cars in Japan that had previously been recalled after concluding that they may still be unsafe.

The airbag inflators used in the vehicles were previously deemed safe until a passenger in a Nissan Motor Co., vehicle was injured when an airbag ruptured.

Nissan this month reissued recalls for about 310,000 vehicles in Japan due to the incident.

During earlier inspections automakers had checked the inflators using ammonium nitrate for air leaks and deemed some safe enough not to be replaced.

In a statement Toyota said it is airing on the side of caution and will issue replacements made by Takata.

The recall affects around 20 domestic models produced between 2004 and 2008, including the Vitz compact. The initial recalls were conducted in May and June.

The company has not yet said if a recall outside of Japan will be required.

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U.S. regulators have linked Takata inflators using ammonium nitrate, which can explode upon deployment and spray shrapnel, to eight deaths.

The airbag inflators have led to more than 10 million recalls.

This month, Toyota, Nissan and other major car manufacturers said they would stop using ammonium nitrate inflators manufactured by Takata in new models.

Takata has not yet determined the cause of the defect. The company was recently fined $70 million by U.S. regulators and was ordered to stop using the deadly propellant.

The Wall Street Journal revealed on Tuesday that U.S. employees at Takata had raised concerns “internally about misleading testing reports on air bags that later became prone to explosions.” The report claims that employees in Japan were altering the reports to avoid paying hefty fines or issuing recalls.