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2003 Corolla Airbag Recall being done at home!


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Our old Corolla which I never dreamt we would keep as long as we have has been getting many letters from Toyota (well I have, not the car 🙂) over the airbag recall. Fully aware of this recall I have to admit that for various reasons it has not been done as yet... well actually lets start at the beginning... the passenger side was done around 4 years or so back and I was less than impressed because I had to return immediately as the airbag warning light illuminated. It was 'sorted' but obviously something hadn't been done and it should never have been signed off. 

A little while later and I was told the replacement parts should be replaced again as I believe NOS (new old stock) parts were being fitted in the interim on the belief they would be in better shape than the years old fitted part. 

The car is old and I don't want to spend any money on it if (when) it fails an MOT but that was 3 or 4 years back and it still keeps passing... although it 'failed' the last one on an indicator bulb that wasn't orange enough. It's probably worth around £200 assuming a full tank. So it gets to live another year...

Today another recall letter came and this time (and full marks to Toyota) they are offering to do the work at home vie the AA. So I rang the number and its all arranged for both airbags (so I was told when I asked) to be replaced in mid May.     

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Yes, there have been Recalls on the Air Bag  Recall, so better to have it done as should it misfire it could be very dangerous.

What I find so surprising is Toyota subcontacting work to the AA ???  ( think of the liability aspect ?)

Apart from that, thought the hub of the problem was the airbag mechanism which meant the dash had to be released, a time consuming job that when we had ours done they said it was not really a quick job we could wait there for.

Either way, think we would still prefer for Toyota , even a junior tech, to do the work than some third party.

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It's a valid point and one I had pondered over, however I think the AA team doing this will have been trained specifically for this and will be doing nothing else but at the moment, so they could actually be a lot more proficient. Even so I think it is a couple of hours of a job in all.

Toyota bodged the first replacement for me as I had to return the same morning the work was done as the airbag light was on following its replacement.

What feels a bit strange is that cost of the work will almost certainly far exceed the market value of the car which is worth just buttons tbh. Also if it fails its next MOT on anything requiring much expense then it will be disposed of anyway.  

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Understand what you are saying.

You could still take it to your local Toyota dealer or use the AA. ( though to be honest I do wonder if that could be a scam letter?)

Also as Toyotas previous letters explained, if the airbag goes off unexpected and with the metal fragments they mention, think you would be looking at Toyota in a different light if they had not done the recall work.

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Hi,I had my recall done at home early last year(pre covid) by the AA,work was completed without issues and they even ran a diagnostic check and condition check on my whole car too :-),at no cost to me.

 

2005 Corolla d 4d 69,000 m

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Good to know it all went well SID1919. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well today was the day and I'm happy to report it all went well. Both airbags replaced in about an hour. Everything was comprehensively checked and I think also filmed as I was told I would get a video via email. I guess that is to cover all parties and to show everything works correctly before and after. All the checks and so on seemed to take as long as the work itself. The dash apparently comes out really easily on the old Corolla.

I couldn't imagine a main dealer being any more proficient, in fact the chap doing the work said he had done so many now that (as is the case with anything like this) you find that what might have taken 2 or 3 hours the first few you do comes down dramatically the more you do.

So another top experience from the AA. I used them a while back for new tyres on the Auris (mobile fitting service) and was super impressed then as well. The car was lifted on air cushions, not just jacked up... all good. 

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