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Toyota Motor Corp. said late on Tuesday it is recalling 1.43 million hybrid Prius and Lexus CT200h cars worldwide because of a possible airbag inflator defect.  The faulty air bags are not related to recent massive recalls of Takata air bags that have ballooned to millions of vehicles and affected nearly all major automakers.

Takata airbags are the focus of the largest auto recall in history, with more than a dozen different automakers forced to recall cars with its products installed – including Toyota.  There are 69 million Takata airbags that have been recalled or will be recalled by 2019 in the United States alone.

In this recall, the airbags are on the side of the car, not the steering wheel or passenger-side dashboard.  The recall covers 2010-2012 vehicles with air bag inflators that could have a small crack in a weld, which could lead to the separation of the inflator chambers.  The air bag could partially inflate and the inflator could enter the vehicle interior, increasing the risk of injury.  Toyota said it is not aware of any deaths or injuries related to this latest airbag recall.  The air bag manufacturer, Autoliv Inc., said it is cooperating fully with the recall.  The cause of the defect is still under investigation.  Autoliv estimated the cost of the recall to be anywhere from $10 to $40 million.

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