Toyota recalls more cars for air bag problems as officials investigate new case

TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling more than 40,000 vehicles in Japan as part of an ongoing air bag problem, days after Japan’s transport minister instructed Japanese automakers to speed up their repairs.

Officials are also investigating a new type of air-bag problem found Wednesday in a 2003 car that could lead to further recalls.

Toyota’s recalls Thursday for the driver-side air bags are the latest in the widening safety problem related to Takata Corp. air bags.

The Transport minister earlier this week ordered Japanese automakers to expedite the recalls. Takata air bags can inflate with excessive force, sending metal shrapnel toward the driver and passengers.

The problems have been blamed for at least six deaths and dozens of injuries. Millions of cars have been recalled worldwide.