Authority is aware of defective airbag concerns

The Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) is aware of a Asco Motors’ campaign to get the owners of two Toyota vehicle models to bring them in to check for defective airbags.

Asco Motors Chief Executive Officer, August Huch, said this yesterday in an interview with the Samoa Observer. 

This followed the publication of an article on Monday, which alerted owners of Toyota models Rav4 ACA21 and Yaris NCP92, to the possibility that their vehicles could have a defective Takata airbag.

Asco Motors, the authorised vehicle dealer for Toyota in Samoa, is offering to replace defective Takata airbags in Rav4 ACA21 and Yaris NCP92 vehicles free of charge.

Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Mr Huch said only Asco Motors can provide this service in Samoa.

“Only Asco Motors can offer this service to the public and the Land Transport Authority has been advised of this campaign,” he said.

The company has identified 11 vehicles in Samoa – comprising eight Rav4 and three Yaris – that will be checked and have their Takata airbags replaced. Out of the 11, checks have only been done on three of the five Rav4 vehicles, according to Mr Huch. The three Yaris cars were moved to Fiji by their owners, he added, and now become the responsibility of the authorised Toyota dealer in Fiji. 

Rav4 ACA21 and Yaris NCP92 vehicles imported from Australia and New Zealand can also be checked, but Mr Huch indicated that authorisation has to come from the Toyota Motor Corporation headquarters in Japan before they can proceed. Vehicle owners in Samoa – who have the models in question – can call into Asco Motors and quote their 17-digit vehicle identification number (V.I.N.). The staff will use the V.I.N. to determine whether their airbag is defective. 

L.T.A. has not responded to queries made by this newspaper at the time of going to press. 

Asco Motors’ campaign to get the affected vehicle owners to visit their workshop has a slot on local radio station FM 89, which goes on air every Tuesday and will run until next month. 

Mr Huch said the campaign by the company is just a precaution for Toyota vehicle owners, and emphasised that the defective airbags were manufactured by Takata Corporation, which is a separate company from Toyota Motor Corporation.

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