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Toyota expands recall of cars with Takata airbags a year ahead of schedule

Toyota Motor Corp. on Dec. 12 issued a safety recall of approximately 65,000 vehicles to replace Takata Corp. airbags, a year ahead of the planned fifth phase of recalls.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration originally scheduled the fifth phase of the recall to be in December 2019.

The recall covers certain Toyota 2003-2005 Model Year Corolla, 2002-2005 Model Year Sequoia, 2003-2005 Model Year Tundra and 2002-2005 Model Year Lexus SC vehicles in the U.S.

The announcement is an expansion of previous recalls affecting cars installed with defective Takata airbags, which have been linked to deaths and injuries across the world.

Toyota dealers will replace the front passenger airbag inflator or the airbag assembly of involved cars with an improved one produced by non-Takata suppliers.

Starting January 2019, owners of affected cars will receive notification by mail if their vehicles are subject to the recall.