Toyota announced their largest recall in history, involving more than six million vehicles for problems affecting various parts – from seats to steering wheels.
Certain Model Years 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2008-2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 Tacoma, 2006-2008 RAV4 and 2006-2010 Yaris vehicles were recalled over the air-bag module.
The driver’s airbag module in the involved vehicles is attached to a spiral cable assembly with electrical connections that could become damaged when the steering wheel is turned. If this occurs, the air bag warning light will illuminate. In addition, the driver’s air bag could become deactivated, causing it to not deploy in a crash.
Other issues include problems with seat rails, steering columns, windscreen wipers and a glitch with the engine starters that poses a fire risk.
In the seat rail of the driver seat of the involved vehicles and also the front passenger seat of three-door models, the springs used for the mechanism which lock the seat rail in its adjusting positions could break. This can happen if the seat is adjusted forward and/or rearward with high frequency, Toyota stated in a press release. If a seat rail spring breaks, the seat may not lock into the adjusted position. If the vehicle is operated with a broken seat rail spring, the seat could move in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury to the occupant.
The recall also involves approximately 472,500 vehicles consisting of certain Model Year 2006-2010 Yaris Hatchback vehicles (approximately 158,000); certain Model Year 2007-2010 Yaris Sedan vehicles (approximately 250,500); and certain Model Year 2008-2010 Scion xD vehicles (approximately 64,000), according to the automaker.
Toyota said it was not aware of any vehicle crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by these conditions.
However, it said it had received two reports of fires in connection with the engine starter problem. The affected vehicles include the Corolla sedan, the RAV4 sport utility vehicle and the Yaris subcompact.
The carmaker said that “due to inefficiencies in the design of the starter motor relays, metallic particles might accumulate on the contacts within the relay”.
It said that if the relays continued to be used, the particles could come off and enter the relay’s circuitry and in the “worst case, this could lead to the starter relays catching fire”.
“We sincerely apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and concern brought by this recall announcement,” the company said today in an e-mailed statement. “Toyota has rededicated itself to strengthening its commitment to safety and quality. In part, that means refocusing on putting customers and people first, by listening better and taking appropriate action.”
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