Today Toyota announced a new recall of 482,000 vehicles in the U.S. to repair side-curtain airbags manufactured by the Swedish supplier Autoliv. The recall affects model years 2010–2012 Prius, 2010 and 2012 Prius Plug-in, and 2011–2012 Lexus CT200h. The cars are being recalled because the side-curtain airbags can inadvertently deploy and the inflator can potentially “enter the interior of the vehicle,” which could injure occupants, according to a Toyota press release. This is similar to the problem with the Takata airbags, which explode and send metal shrapnel into the vehicle’s occupant space.
Autoliv said in a separate press release that it knows of seven separate incidents involving Prius models worldwide, all of which occurred in cars that were parked and unoccupied. Autoliv is investigating the root cause, but believes no other automakers are affected by this problem since “vehicle specific characteristics” contributed to the issue. A manufacturing problem was corrected in January 2012, and the total number of cars under recall—about 1.4 million worldwide—represent half of all the side-curtain airbag inflators produced before that date, Autoliv said. Toyota stated that a crack between the two inflator chambers can form over time due to poor welding, which can cause the two chambers to separate.
Dealers will install a retention bracket on the inflator chambers to prevent them from separating and sending shrapnel into the vehicle’s interior. It is unknown if additional hardware or software fixes will be required, as the airbags have deployed “without a deployment signal being given by the airbag controller,” according to Toyota.
Recall notices will go out to owners at a later date. Meanwhile, consumers will presumably continue to drive affected vehicles without knowing that their vehicles have been recalled. Today’s recall is another example of a broken recall system that puts consumers at risk because of the delay between a manufacturing knowing about a defect and notifying consumers that they may be at risk.
International auto giant Toyota Motors Corp. continues to deal with accusations that it concealed its knowledge of problems that caused sudden unintended acceleration in certain vehicles and resulted in injuries and deaths. In the past year, Toyota paid a $1.2 billion fine following a federal criminal investigation, faced plaintiffs in multidistrict litigation, and begun making settlement payments to claimants. Read more
Toyota has been in the news for various reasons this year. The Japanese automaker issued multiple recalls and has been involved in a few major lawsuits. Among the recalls, Toyota recalled about 615,000 Sierra minivans due to issues with the gear shift lock solenoids last month. Now, Toyota is in the news again for another recall. Toyota announced a recall of approximately 10,000 vehicles due to issues with the windshield wipers, according to Edmunds. Read more
Nissan and Toyota are among some of the largest vehicle manufacturers worldwide. The two Japanese automakers are also no strangers to large-scale recalls. Recently, Toyota recalled approximately 235,000 vehicles in two separate actions, with one recall involving a concern with the vehicles’ inverters and the other involving concerns with the vehicles’ variable valve timing devices. Read more
There have only been two weeks in September and already Toyota has issued three major recalls for a few higher-end vehicles. The first two recalls Toyota issued this month were for approximately 235,000 vehicles. The recalls involved five different Toyota and Lexus models that had possible issues with the inverters and variable valve timing control devices. Read more
Many large recalls have been issued by vehicle manufacturers this year. Among these recalls have been several by Ford and Toyota. Ford recently recalled nearly 370,000 sedans due to corrosion that could occur in the steering shafts of the vehicles in areas of high corrosion. Similarly, Toyota has had its fair share of recalls this year. Read more
In November 2012, Toyota announced two recalls that affected 2.77 million Prius vehicles worldwide due to a manufacturing defect in the steering intermediate extension shaft. The splines that connect the extension shaft may wear out over time if owners forcefully turned to the full left or full right position while driving at slow speeds. Read more
Lost in the shuffle of both national and regional recalls for Toyota Motor Corp. and Southeast Toyota Distributors, respectively, over the last several days was the additional news that Toyota would also be recalling some Lexus IS luxury sedans. Read more
Yesterday’s recalled news showed that automobile defects can happen on a number of levels, and not just simply during the manufacturing process. In this case, 3,235 Toyota models were recalled by Southeast Toyota Distributors because employees failed to properly install and calibrate passenger side airbag sensors, which means that the safety devices could either deploy unexpectedly or not at all. Read more
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. Read more