While it’s not quite on par with the recent major automobile recalls by Ford Motor Co., which recalled 154,604 Fiestas for failure to meet federal airbag standards, or Chrysler Group LLC, which recalled 744,822 Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee vehicles for defective airbags, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced that Toyota will recall approximately 11,200 Scion iQ hatchbacks over concerns that the airbags may not deploy properly due to a manufacturing defect regarding the Scion’s Occupant Classification System.
Because airbags can be very dangerous when deployed in high-speed, high-impact automobile accidents – specifically with children and smaller passengers – automobile manufacturers equip vehicles with OCS sensors in order to determine whether an adult or child is sitting in the seats, as well as whether or not the passenger is wearing a seatbelt. Thanks to these sensors, vehicles have an artificial awareness of whether or not an airbag should be deployed and even how much pressure should be used in seat belts. Unfortunately, if those sensors are defective or fail, any passenger could be at risk of suffering a serious injury in an accident, which is the situation that Toyota now finds itself dealing with.
As of this announcement, Toyota reports that no injuries or accidents have been reported in connection with this defect and recall; however, the concern was great enough to warrant action. The specific problem with the Scion iQ OS systems is explained in Toyota’s official recall announcement:
“Cables for the sensors located in the seat track can come into contact with an object placed near the seat track and become damaged as the front passenger seat slides forward or backward.”
The recall will officially begin in December, as the company will notify any owners who may be affected by this issue. In the meantime, consumers can contact Toyota and Scion representatives at (866) 707-2466 for additional information.