US recalls 2 million cars for second time over unresolved airbag defect

US transport authorities have recalled more than two million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles, including models of the Jeep Liberty (above) made in the early 2000s, over faulty airbags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running. This
US transport authorities have recalled more than two million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles, including models of the Jeep Liberty (above) made in the early 2000s, over faulty airbags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running. This is after a previous recall repair that was meant to rectify the issue, but which might have been ineffective. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US transport authorities have recalled more than two million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles over faulty airbags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running because a previous recall repair might have been ineffective.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday the recall was issued following the unexpected deployment of airbags in about 40 cars that had already been fixed under a previous recall.

The recall involves Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix and Toyota Avalon models made in the early 2000s.

All 2.12 million vehicles involved in the latest warning were already under recall for an airbag default.

"This is unfortunately a complicated issue for consumers, who may have to return to their dealer more than once," said NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind.

"This is an urgent safety issue, and all consumers with vehicles covered by the previous recalls should have that remedy installed," he added.

The airbag fault stems from a problem with control equipment made by TRW, the Michigan-based automotive supplier, the Financial Times reported. The supplier's initial fix involved fitting electronic filters to the control equipment. According to the NHTSA, it made the bags less prone to inadvertent deployment than before but did not entirely eradicate the problem, FT said.

In the second recall, which may not be completed before the end of this year, the entire control module for the airbag will be replaced, the newspaper said.

About one million Toyota and Honda vehicles in the latest warning are also subject to related recalls involving Takata airbags, which may unexpectedly inflate and cause serious injury or death.

About 20 million vehicles produced by some of the world's biggest automakers have been recalled due to the risk their Takata-made airbags could deploy with excessive explosive power, spraying potentially-fatal shrapnel into the vehicle.

The exploding Takata airbags are linked to at least five deaths and hundreds of injuries.