• Toyota Corolla

Toyota owners in the Southeast U.S. may find themselves with an unexpected burden this week, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting that a Florida Toyota distributor may be responsible for malfunctioning airbag sensors in various year models of the Japanese automobile manufacturer’s most popular vehicles. Approximately 3,235 automobiles are being recalled because Southeast Toyota Distributors in Deerfield Beach, Florida may have improperly calibrated airbag weight sensors for the front passenger seats, which could lead to unexpected deployment or failure to deploy.

The vehicles affected by this latest Toyota recall include the 2009-2012 Tacoma, 4Runner, Camry (and Hybrid), Prius and RAV4; the 2009-10 Avalon, FJ Cruiser and Highlander Hybrid; the 2010-13 Corolla, Sienna and Tundra; the 2009-13 Highlander and Venza; the 2012 Prius V; and the 2010-12 Sequoia. The specific Vehicle Identification Numbers are available in the NHTSA report. No Lexus or Scion models are reported in this recall.

Southeast Toyota Distributors, which imports, inspects and prepares these vehicles for sale throughout the Southeast, is responsible for the installation of accessories, such as the weight sensors that are necessary in determining whether or not a passenger is in the seat and how heavy that person is for the sake of airbag deployment.

The vehicles have been sold and distributed throughout Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, so consumers who are driving any of the aforementioned models should contact Southeast Toyota Distributors immediately at (954) 429-2000 to determine if their vehicles are affected. While Toyota itself is not involved with this recall, the company’s representatives can offer additional assistance in how to handle recalls. Consumers can contact Toyota at (800) 331-4331.

Among other well-publicized recalls, Toyota’s most recent airbag problem occurred in November, when the company recalled 11,200 Scion hatchbacks due to a similar passenger airbag problem. Those Scions were recalled because the Occupant Classification Systems were defective, in that they could not determine whether an adult or child was sitting in the passenger seat, which meant the airbags could deploy and cause serious injuries to small children.