UMW Toyota to replace inflator modules for 42,000 units

UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd (UMWT) is seeking to replace the inflator modules of the front passenger side airbag to certain number of Toyota vehicles sold in Malaysia

UMWT, which is the distributor of Toyota vehicles in Malaysia, said the special service campaign (SSC), would be for 42,000 units – Toyota Corolla Altis, Vios, Yaris and Alphard.

The vehicles were manufactured from May 2010 to Dec 2012 and distributed by UMWT.

“This SSC is an expansion of earlier campaigns by Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) relating to certain vehicles equipped with airbag inflator modules.

“The defect is due to propellant degradation occurring after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures and high temperature cycling.

“Inflator modules which contain a non-desiccated, phase stabilised ammonium nitrate propellant may cause the rupture of the module.

“Should such a situation occur, metal fragments will pass through the airbag as it inflates and into the vehicle interior at high speed. As a result, serious injury or death could occur,” it said.

UMWT said TMC was working on obtaining the necessary parts for the SSC.

Once the parts are available, UMWT will notify owners to request them to bring their cars to an authorised Toyota service centre to make the necessary replacements which should take about one  to three hours.

All costs involved for the replacement will be borne by UMWT, which said it was very concerned about the safety of Toyota owners whose vehicles are involved in the airbag replacement SSC.

It had stepped up its efforts to contact the  vehicle owners. However, it was aware that some of them were not the first owners and might not be contactable.

It urges the owners involved to contact any authorised Toyota service centre or call the Toyota Freephone at 1800-8-TOYOTA (869682).

Owners can visit Toyota’s Special Service Campaign webpage through this link:https://toyota.com.my/aftersales-services/special-service-campaigns to check whether their vehicle is involved, through Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Checker.
Source : The Star (30 March 2017)

Honda to cease airbag replacements at 3 hubs

Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Honda Malaysia) has announced that operations at three Honda Service Central Hubs (Perai, Petaling Jaya and Johor Baru) for the Takata front airbag inflator replacement will cease tomorrow.

To make the replacement process more convenient for its customers, Honda Malaysia will introduce the Mobile Caravan, which will be going nationwide to provide on-the-spot replacements seven days a week, it said in a statement here today.

Honda Malaysia would be stepping up the operations of its Mobile Hubs to three mall venues every weekend in the Central Region, Johor Bahru, Kedah and Penang until March 2017.

“Eighty-four authorised Honda Service dealers nationwide will continue mobilising their associates to go door-to-door to approach affected customers at their premises until March 2017.

“It is important that awareness to replace the airbag inflators are continued to help expedite the free-of-charge replacement activity,” it said.

Honda Malaysia has completed 71 per cent of the replacements as at Dec 28, 2016 and would like to reassure that the stock availability for Takata driver front airbag inflators is at 100 per cent.

The stock availability for Takata passenger front airbag inflators is close to 70 per cent at end of December this year.

— Bernama (30 Dec 2016)

VW owners in US can either choose buyback or repairs

SAN FRANCISCO: The owners of nearly half a million polluting Volkswagens in the US will have the option of selling them back to the company or getting them repaired at VW’s expense, under a deal announced by a federal judge.

The tentative agreement outlined Thursday by Senior US District Judge Charles Breyer, however, left many questions unanswered, among them: How much can car owners expect in a buyback? Will they be compensated for any reduced gas mileage and performance resulting from a repair? And how soon could the programme start?

Breyer, who is presiding over a tangle of litigation created by the VW emissions cheating scandal, said the deal will include “substantial compensation” for owners. But he did not elaborate and warned attorneys in the case not to talk about the continuing negotiations, saying that could cause confusion among customers.

Details of the agreement are expected to come out over the next couple of months.

Breyer set a June 21 deadline for attorneys from the US Justice Department and for Volkswagen owners to file additional paperwork about the agreement. After that, owners will get the chance to comment before Breyer signs off on any deal.

The scandal erupted in September when it was learned that the German automaker had fitted many of its cars with software to fool emissions tests and had put dirty vehicles on the road. Car owners and the Justice Department sued.

“Although it is too soon to tell whether VW owners will be satisfied, and there are still other liabilities that must be addressed, this is the beginning of the end of the story,” said Michael Steel, an attorney in San Francisco who has advised car manufacturers.

Experts say fixing older-model diesels will be complicated and costly and will probably cut their performance and fuel mileage – two main reasons customers bought them. Breyer did not say how the vehicles would be repaired – whether, for example, it would involve a software fix or new hardware.

Volkswagen said in a statement after the hearing that the agreement is “an important step on the road to making things right.”

The automaker said it “intends to compensate its customers fully and to remediate any impact on the environment from excess diesel emissions.”

The deal affects the owners of about 482,000 Volkswagens with 2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engines, most of them VW Jetta, Golf and Passat models dating to the 2009 model year.

The deal does not address potential fines and penalties, Breyer said.

In the US, the company faces as much as US$20bil (RM77.7bil) in fines for Clean Air Act violations alone, though that will probably be negotiated down.

The Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency are also weighing potential criminal charges against the company and senior executives.

Nor does the agreement settle lawsuits by state and local governments, which are seeking billions from VW
Source – AP (25 April 2016)