Toyota Adds Nearly 1.3 Million Vehicles to Takata Air Bag Recall

 

Toyota, Japan – Feb. 27, 2019 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain vehicles equipped with Takata air bags containing inflators that can become hazardous over time. Affected vehicles cover units in a range manufactured between 2010 and 2017, from areas determined to be most at risk for propellant degradation. This includes most Southern, Mideastern and Midwestern states (classed as Zones A, B, and C) as well as U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The potential number of units affected is 1,299,448. Vehicles affected may include:

• 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner vehicles
• 2011-2015 Scion xB vehicles
• 2011-2015 Toyota Sienna vehicles
• 2010-2014 Lexus IS350C and IS250C vehicles
• 2011-2015 Lexus IS-F vehicles
• 2014-2017 Lexus GX460 vehicles
• 2011-2013 Toyota Corolla vehicles
• 2011-2013 Corolla Matrix vehicles

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Report filed Jan. 9, the subject vehicles all are equipped with front passenger air bag inflators of the Takata PSPI-6 designation. These airbags contain a non-desiccated, phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant. It has been determined that propellant degradation is certain to occur at some point in time after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity or temperature.

If a non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflator with degraded propellant is activated during a collision, it may result in a rupture of the inflator, which can subsequently cause metal fragments to pass through the air bag and into the vehicle interior. The high speed deployment of the fragments can cause severe injury or death to vehicle occupants.

Timeline of Events

On Jan. 2, Takata filed Part 573 reports in accordance with terms specified in the May 4, 2016 Amendment to the Nov. 3, 2015 Consent Order between Takata and the NHTSA. Based on Takata’s Part 573 reports, Toyota decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall about a week later to identify the subject vehicles and replace the air bag inflator or assembly. Toyota has, however, stated that it does not, by this action, fully endorse the content of Takata’s Part 573 reports.

Based on Toyota’s defect information report, the automaker is unable to provide an estimate of the percentage of vehicles that are an immediate danger. As noted in the May 2016 Amendment to the Takata Consent Order, the length of time that a non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflator will have reached the point where they pose an unreasonable risk to safety could be quite long and is dependent on the age of the inflator and environmental exposure, among other factors. The recall is being deployed in phases with vehicles deemed most at risk – as well as those located in hot and humid regions – being prioritized.

The Solution

The recall began Feb. 15. By March 10, all known owners of the affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles will have been notified of the recall by first class mail, and instructed to return their vehicles to a Toyota or Lexus dealer, as applicable. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will either replace the front passenger airbag inflator only, or replace the entire airbag assembly, free of charge. Any vehicle owners who have already paid to fix this condition prior to this campaign may seek reimbursement for their costs.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota’s numbers for this recall are “Zone A” – Toyota: G0P, Lexus: GLG; “Zone B” – Toyota: G0R, Lexus GLH; “Zone C” – Toyota: H0A, and Lexus: HLA. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V005000.

Sean ReyesToyota Adds Nearly 1.3 Million Vehicles to Takata Air Bag Recall

Toyota, Lexus, Scion Recall 1.3 Million Vehicles for Takata Airbags

Toyota is adding 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. to its list of those that should have their Takata airbags inflators replaced. Lexus and Scion vehicles are also included in the recall.

This latest announcement from Toyota covers passenger-side front airbag inflators, and is part of the effort by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and automakers to space out the replacement of Takata airbag inflators based on the risk to drivers and passengers.

The goal has been to get replacement inflators to vehicle owners in the highest-risk regions first, and then to the rest of the country later, as the supply of replacement inflators grew. The last wave of recalls is scheduled for early in 2020…Read more on ConsumerReports.org

Sean ReyesToyota, Lexus, Scion Recall 1.3 Million Vehicles for Takata Airbags

Toyota recalls more Takata airbag inflators – 1.3 million vehicles involved

Plano, Texas, Jan. 9, 2019 – Toyota has announced a planned expansion of recalls affecting vehicles with Takata air bag inflators that may be defective, according to a recent press release from the automaker. This recall has already involved millions of cars and trucks worldwide, across a broad spectrum of manufacturers and brands. Due to the immense number of vehicles affected and the unequal risk of defects causing harm to drivers, the process has been carried out in stages, determined by vehicle age and geography.

This new round of affected vehicles includes both Toyota and Lexus models. The latest recall involves the following cars and trucks: 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner, 2010-2013 Toyota Corolla, 2010-2013 Toyota Matrix, 2011-2014 Toyota Sienna, 2010-2015 Scion XB, 2010-2012 Lexus ES 350, 2010-2017 Lexus GX 460, 2010-2015 Lexus IS 250C, 2010-2015 Lexus IS 350C, 2010-2013 Lexus IS 250, 2010-2013 Lexus IS 350, 2010-2014 Lexus IS-F. These cars encompass 1.3 million units in the U.S.

The Defect

The problem with the Takata inflators is one of the most serious defects to be revealed in recent years. When the propellants used in the parts degrade in high heat, humidity and temperature cycling, activation may result in a rupture in the air bag inflator. Ruptured air bags can throw sharp metal fragments at the occupants of vehicles, injuring or even killing them.

The danger from these potentially deadly air bags increases over time, which is why the Takata recall began with earlier cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association has been coordinating the cycles of recalls. In total, the department is targeting 37 million vehicles. The most dangerous type of Takata air bag, designated “alpha,” is found in vehicles older than those recently recalled by Toyota – owners of those cars were notified during the beginning of the recall.

Timeline of Events

The waves of the Takata recall have been ongoing since 2015. Unlike other recalls that are determined based on laboratory testing or safety inspections, the air bag inflator fault was discovered after several deadly accidents involving the compromised parts. The recall began with the vehicles most likely to contain high-risk inflators, with waves of new announcements following every few months.

According to Toyota, owners of the mentioned in the latest stage of the recall will receive letters in late January alerting them to the need to receive service for their vehicles.

The Solution

As with other stages of the Takata recall, the solution for the current round of air bag repairs involves replacing either the inflator or the whole airbag assembly, depending on the model of car in question. The modification will be carried out by Toyota and Lexus dealerships and repair work will be offered at no charge to drivers.

The automaker noted that it has been working on outreach efforts to ensure as many motorists as possible realize they need to have their vehicles repaired. Through practices such as holding events and working with third-party organizations, Toyota and the other carmakers using Takata air bag inflators have been publicizing the recall for the past few years. The phone number for up-to-date service and recall information is 1-800-331-4331 for Toyota owners and 1-800-255-3987 for Lexus customers.

Sean ReyesToyota recalls more Takata airbag inflators – 1.3 million vehicles involved

Toyota Recalls Nearly 17,000 Scion xA Vehicles Due to Air Bag Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – November 28, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2004-2006 Toyota Scion xA vehicles for a potential internal short in the air bag module. The potential number of units affected is 16,992.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the airbag control module for the supplemental restraint system (SRS ECU) in the subject vehicles may have been manufactured with application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) which are susceptible to internal shorting when exposed to the naturally high inductive electrical noise from various vehicle electrical components close to the module. In some cases, the SRS warning light for the airbag(s) could illuminate, and the airbag(s) and/or seat belt pretensioner (s) could become deactivated. In other cases, these systems could inadvertently deploy in the absence of an impact. An airbag that is deactivated or is deployed inadvertently can increase the risk of injury or the possibility of a crash.

Timeline of Events

In 2013, Toyota recalled approximately 890,000 vehicles in the U.S. which were equipped with generation 5.0 TRW SRS ECUs. In these ECUs, damage due to electrical noise could result in an inadvertent deployment of the airbag(s) and/or seat belt pretensioners. At the time, generation 5.5 SRS ECUs (that are the subject of this recall) were not included.

In June 2013, Toyota received a field report from the European market indicating the inadvertent activation of the driver, front passenger, and knee airbags while driving a CY 2006 Corolla Verso vehicle. Airbags were found to be activated as per the customer’s allegation, but there was no evidence of an impact. The SRS ECU was recovered and investigated, and damage appeared to be similar to damage from electrical noise that could have occurred on a generation 5.0 SRS ECU, recalled in 2013; however, it was judged to be an isolated case due to the differences between the 5.0 and 5.5 models.

In July 2015, Toyota received information from a dealer in the Japan market indicating the inadvertent activation of the driver, front passenger, and knee airbags while driving a CY 2006 Avensis vehicle. Similar results were found. Toyota began replication testing and recovery of working SRS ECUs of this generation from in-use vehicles and found that the generation 5.5 SRS ECUs have higher insulation against electrical noise compared to the recalled generation 5.0 ECUs. However, Toyota continued to sporadically receive similar field reports from countries outside of North America, mainly from European countries and Japan, and continued its investigation.

Toyota reviewed the difference between the Avensis and other models, and once again started the recovery of working SRS ECUs from a larger population of in-use Avensis vehicles. In August 2017, Toyota also received the first field report from the U.S. market, claiming inadvertent activation of the driver and front passenger airbags in a 2006 MY Toyota Scion xA vehicle with a generation 5.5 SRS ECU. Toyota investigated the SRS ECU and confirmed the damage of the ASIC for transmitting the signal to deploy the airbags was similar to other cases from the European and Japan markets. At that time, Toyota observed that the insulation against electrical noise found in the ASICs in the generation 5.5 SRS ECUs had an unexpectedly wide variation in effectiveness and Toyota subsequently chose to conduct a voluntary safety recall campaign.

The Solution

All known owners of the subject vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota dealer. The dealers will replace the airbag control module with an updated one, free of charge. The owner letter will also instruct vehicle owners who have paid to have this condition remedied prior to this campaign to seek reimbursement under Toyota’s General Reimbursement Plan. The recall is expected to begin December 24, 2018. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota’s number for this recall is J0W. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-776.

Sean ReyesToyota Recalls Nearly 17,000 Scion xA Vehicles Due to Air Bag Defect

Subaru Recalls More Than 160,000 Vehicles for Weak Engine Valve Springs

Laguna Hills, CA – November 13, 2018 – Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2012-2014 Subaru Impreza, 2012-2013 Impreza Stationwagon, 2013 Subaru BRZ, XV Crosstrek and Toyota Scion FR-S vehicles for a valve spring issue that could cause engine stall. This recall is expected to affect 165,534 Subaru vehicles in North America.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, due to an improper design of the valve train within the engine, an excessive stress is generated on the valve spring compared to the design condition. In addition, a very small amount of the impurity within the composition of the spring material is not avoidable in the manufacturing process. The combination of excessive stress and the dispersion of the impurity in the valve material during manufacturing may cause the valve springs located inside the engine of the affected vehicles may fracture, which may cause engine malfunction. In the worst case, the engine may stall during driving, and restarting will not be possible, increasing the risk of a crash.  Drivers may have a short window of advance warning as abnormal noise or vibration may occur prior to the engine stalling.

Timeline of Events

In April of 2012, SUBARU CORPORATION (Subaru) received a technical report from the Japan market which described an abnormal noise and rough idling. The collected engine was examined, and it was surmised that the valve spring broke and fell off, making contact with the piston and causing a rough idling and an abnormal noise. While a component analysis was conducted, no spring material flaw was identified and the cause of the fracture was unknown. In May 2013, the lower limit of the tolerance of the spring wire diameter was raised as a precaution and in response to eleven technical reports related to stalling reported from the U.S. In August 2016, based on additional examinations of engines collected from the field, it was determined that a ndactor not avoidable in the manufacturing process, namely very small amount of impurity within the composition of the spring material, could affect spring fracture.

Three additional technical reports related to stalling were issued from the U.S. during this time frame, but by September 2018 it was determined that a higher occurrence rate than estimated with general manufacturing dispersion from the vehicle manufactured with lower spring tolerance. Further investigation led to the revelation due to the improper design of the valve train, stress generated exceeded the design condition, and, when combined with the dispersion of impurity within the composition of the spring material, could cause spring fracture due to fatigue. On Oct 25, 2018, Subaru issued a safety recall for vehicles equipped with a similar valve train design manufactured prior to the tolerance adjustments made in May 2013.

The Solution

Subaru will notify owners, and all valve springs will be replaced with new ones free of charge. Owner notification will occur within 60 days of Dealer notification, which began on November 1. If parts are not available by that time, owners will be notified that parts are not available yet and they will be re-notified once parts are available. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-772.

Sean ReyesSubaru Recalls More Than 160,000 Vehicles for Weak Engine Valve Springs

Toyota Recalls Several Vehicles for Load Carrying Labels

Jacksonville, Fla. — July 20, 2016 — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently published documents about a label-related Toyota recall. The official Recall Safety Report from this source said that 2,520 vehicles could potentially bear an incorrect load-carrying-capacity modification label.

This needs to be accurate to within 1 percent of an auto’s weight, under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 110 S10. The Report stated that the vehicles involved in this recall do not meet this standard.

All of the recalled models have either 2015 or 2016 model years and were produced between May 6, 2014 and May 13, 2016. The issue may be present in Toyota Camry, Highlander and Tundra light vehicles from these years, as well as Scion FR-S and tC units.

A closer look at the issue

The report defined the origin of the incorrect labels. According to that source, Southeast Toyota submitted incorrect weight figures for certain accessories. The manufacturer first noticed discrepancies after an audit on May 9, 2016.

All units involved in this recall are thought to have the defect. Whether or not a manufacturer needs to add these labels depends on whether additions were made to the vehicles before sales. Incorrect load-bearing information may lead owners to misjudge how much their vehicle can carry, leaving them at risk of a crash or injury if they add too much weight.

The recall remedy

This report was submitted on June 7, several days after the planned dealer notification dates of June 2 and 3. Owners will not be notified until July 14 and 15, and Southeast Toyota is currently working to determine the correct owner addresses.

The manufacturer has taken other steps to enforce proper practices during this action. In statements distributed to dealers, the company reminded locations to avoid selling any vehicles that may not comply with regulations.

Part of this includes using Inspection Reminder Hang Tags, which could help distinguish which vehicles are in need of an impending inspection. Dealer associates with the proper certification are expected to follow the technical instructions for installing the correct weight labels.

One person at least has to verify the quality of the repair, the statement said. Customers should receive the right Accessory Weight addendum label, but replacement labels can be made if the Vehicle Identification Number can be confirmed.

Other Toyota recalls for the same models

As of June 20, the 2016 Toyota Camry has only been part of one other recall: an April 2016 effort concerning occupant classification systems. Incorrect calibration led to possible noncompliance with the FMVSS on multiple counts.

Due to this error, some air bags would not deploy in certain situations, leaving passengers in increased danger. The remedy requires dealers to recalibrate the system themselves. As with the most recent recall, Toyota discovered this issue during an audit, and found that the problem occurred in some 2016 Toyota Avalon vehicles as well.

While the 2016 Toyota Highlander is not involved in any other recalls so far, the 2015 Toyota Tundra underwent a similar recall for bearing the wrong tire inflation information more than a year ago. The Recall Acknowledgement letter on this action said that 144 of these vehicles were in danger of failing FMVS 110.

The 2015 Tundra tire label recall

The tire placards in this case may display incorrect pressure information, causing drivers to potentially leave the tires underinflated. As the owner notification statement said, the pressure information became inaccurate after Nitto Terra Grappler G2 tires were added to the vehicle.

The notice, dated June 30, 2015, also prioritized residents in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, saying that they should visit their dealers immediately, as opposed to those living in other states. Repair was said to take “30 minutes or less,” as the dealers installed the correct placard instead.

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