Toyota has recalled 20,000 Australian vehicles over an airbag defect that could cause fires. Dealing another blow to the world’s biggest carmaker whose safety reputation has been dented in recent years, this Toyota Recall means more damage to the company’s reputation.

The second recall in as many years, potential problems in the passenger airbag unit fitted to popular cars including the Toyota Corolla, Avensis Verso and Lexus SC430 are of concern this time.

The cars in question were built between January 2001 and May 2003.

The same vehicles were part of massive global recalls taking in more than 3.4 million cars last year, after  airbags built by Japanese parts supplier Takata were deemed to be faulty.

A spokeswoman for Toyota says local cars were recalled for inspection in April 2013, and that “only a small number of airbag inflators were replaced”.

“We have had no accidents or injuries reported in Australia as a result of this condition,” she says.

Toyota says the second recall is the result of confusion around serial numbers for cars affected by the recall and that it is making sure no fault units remain in its vehicles.

The company has since decided to replace airbag inflator units in about 19,600 cars across the country.  They will recall cars as parts become available, and that repairs will take between one hour and 5.5 hours.

Toyota says it will notify affected customers by mail and that anyone with concerns can call its hotline on 1800 643 242.

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