The Japanese carmaker says that this recall was due to a possible electronic defect that could cause airbags not to deploy in the event of a crash. It also said that the defect could also affect the operation of seatbelt pretensioners.
According to the Reuters report, 2.9 million of the total vehicles to be recalled are located in the US, where the issue has already been tied to a fatal crash. Last April, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) looked into 12.3 million potentially defective airbags and identified two crashes—one of which was fatal—involving newer Corolla models “where (electrical overstress) is suspected as the likely cause” of the non-deployment of airbags.
The affected vehicles in the US are as follows: 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon, and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid. While none of these are available locally in the Philippines—the US-spec Corolla is different from the one we have here—reports didn’t clarify whether vehicles in the Asian market are also affected.
Luckily for you Toyota owners here in the Philippines, we reached out to Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) and were able to confirm that local units are not affected by this, so you guys pretty much have nothing to worry about.