Torrance, Calif. — June 13, 2016 — One of several Toyota recalls from two years ago is still ongoing, with some recent developments affecting the action. Documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall center show that this particular recall, originally concerning leaf springs in certain Tacoma autos, has been updated multiple times this year.
The first report, submitted Sept. 26, 2014, included 690,000 potentially affected Pre-Runner and 4×4 trucks produced between 2009 and 2010. These particular vehicles feature leaf springs in a certain location above the rear axle, putting it in place for several possible hazards, unlike other Tacoma models.
According to this source, the faulty rear suspension leaf springs could corrode, fracture or even puncture the fuel tank, causing a leak and possible fire hazard. While the original report didn’t feature any remedy description, later updates were announced as the procedure became available for different regions.
The most recent of these, dated for April 21, 2016, stated that the remedy was available for the San Francisco area, as Phase 10 of the entire operation. Owners that were left out of previous efforts due to location may be addressed in the later rounds.
The recall remedy
As the San Francisco update noted, dealers may have to repair and replace both the faulty leaf spring and any of the systems hurt by it. The updated number of vehicles has expanded to 711,000, with the suspected production period now stretching further back to 2004.
The notice includes two other phases currently in the interim stage, with anticipated remedy dates trailing through the end of April and into early May. One will address vehicles registered for Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas, while the second will apply to Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
To actually fix these vehicles, technicians will need to meet appropriate certification requirements and may require the specially shipped leaf spring kits. The latest Technical Instructions describes the methods of removing old leaf springs and installing the new ones, as well as a description of proper shackle bushing replacement steps.
Technicians may need to inspect the fuel tank, shock absorber, brakeline and ABS wireharness for damage, in addition to the leaf springs. Even if there is no damage, the instructions direct dealers to proceed to the leaf spring replacement procedure.
Other 2014 Tacoma actions
As other NHTSA documents show, 2014 saw other Toyota recalls affect the Tacoma. This model was part of a larger action meant to address possible seat heater wiring damage as a result of front seat cushion compression.
With this recall, Tacoma model years between 2006 and 2011 were affected: Other Toyota models included the Avalon, Camry and Corolla. The original Recall Acknowledgement letter stated that a short circuit in the seat wiring could both burn through the seat and injure possible occupants.
The remedy required dealers to disconnect affected heaters, with the owners at risk found specifically in the southeastern United States, in states like Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
An even earlier recall from the same year also concerned Toyota Tacoma vehicles, this one targeting model years between 2008 and 2014, as well as FJ Cruisers vehicles with the same year range.
Tire placards in these vehicles were found to potentially display incorrect information. Each of these brands received its own set of remedy instructions: For the Tacoma, dealer staff may have needed to place a new overlay label to help make the data more accurate.
As these instructions mentioned, a display with the wrong cold tire pressure could violate the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, while also causing problems if owners attempt to inflate the tires to meet the incorrect pressure level.
In that case, the manufacturer stated it would send the correct overlay stickers to both owners and dealers to conduct the fix.