DETROIT (AP) – Two different airbag glitches have forced Toyota and Honda to recall over 6 million vehicles worldwide, and both problems present different dangers to motorists.
The Toyota recall affects about 3.4 million vehicles globally and is being done because the airbags may not inflate in a crash. The cars have airbag control computers made by ZF-TRW that are vulnerable to electrical interference and may not signal the bags to inflate.
The problem could affect as many as 12.3 million vehicles in the U.S. made by six companies. It’s possible that as many as eight people were killed when airbags didn’t inflate. U.S. safety regulators are investigating.
Honda’s recall covers about 2.7 million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada with Takata airbag inflators. But they’re a different version than the ones blamed for 25 deaths worldwide. Still, it’s possible the airbags could blow apart a metal canister and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers.
Toyota said the computer may not have adequate protection against electrical noise that can happen in crashes, such as when the vehicle runs under a different vehicle. The problem can cause an incomplete opening of the airbags, or they may not open at all. Devices that prepare seat belts for a collision also may not work.