2020 Toyota Highlanders recalled for suffocated airbags

Pleasanton, CA – October 14, 2020 – Toyota (NYSE: TM) has recalled 3,121 Highlander crossovers whose seats may block the side airbags from deploying. The recall includes 2020 Toyota Highlanders and Highlander Hybrids models. 

Recall summary  

The 2020 Highlander’s seats contain airbags that cushion the driver side and passenger side of the vehicle in the case of a crash. In order to deploy, the airbags must burst through a seam in the front seats that is designed to tear and let the airbag out. 

But, due to a manufacturing mix-up, pieces of the left and right seat-covers may have been reversed in these vehicles. This incorrect seat trim means that the seam may not be in the correct place, which could keep the airbags from deploying.

The components involved are Seat Assy, Fr LH and Seat Assy, Fr RH, which are part of the driver and passenger seat assembly, respectively.

Risks

These side-impact torso airbags (SABs) are designed to help protect the driver and passenger from impacts on either side of the vehicle. They would come handy if, for example, you are thrown against the door of the car during a crash or t-boned by a distracted driver.

Although they have never been required by law, the percent of car models built with side airbags has increased steadily since 1996. 2020 Highlanders, and many other vehicles, pair a torso bag with a “curtain” style airbag, which covers the window and protects the driver’s head. Together, they are estimated to reduce side-impact crash fatalities by 31.3%. 

The repair

Vehicle owners will be notified about the recall on December 13. Toyota dealers will replace the seat covers if they are not installed correctly.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

There are over 3,000 affected SUVs included in this Toyota recall. To see if your car is subject to this recall or other safety issues, use MotorSafety’s vehicle identification number (VIN) look up tool.

Rebecca Rand2020 Toyota Highlanders recalled for suffocated airbags

BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra recalled for in-your-face headlights

Pleasanton, CA – Aug 28, 2020 – BMW of North America LLC (OTCMKTS: BMWYY) has recalled 4,265 cars with faulty headlights that may create glare for oncoming drivers, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes: 

  • 2019-2020 BMW Z4 roadsters
  • 2020 Toyota Supra sports cars

Recall summary  

Due to a manufacturing mistake, the headlights on these vehicles are able to be pointed left and right. This is not allowed by federal motor vehicle safety regulations, which state that the low beams – used to light the road ahead of the car – must not be horizontally adjustable.

What does Toyota have to do with it? 

The 2020 Toyota Supra is part of the BMW Z4 recall because both vehicles are the result of a collaboration between Toyota and BMW. The Supra uses many BMW parts and is built at the same plant as the Z4.

Risks

It is important for headlights to work properly to maximize visibility for everyone on the road. Beams that are not aimed properly may cause glare, blinding oncoming drivers. At the same time, lights that are not bright enough limit how much the person behind the wheel can see. Both increase the risk of collisions.

Of all the fatal accidents in the United States, about half happen at night, when only a quarter of trips take place. So not only is reduced visibility responsible for more accidents, these accidents are also more severe.

The repair

BMW dealers will inspect vehicles’ headlights and correct the problem for free. The recall repair is currently available and should take less than half a day.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 4,000 vehicles are part of this BMW recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandBMW Z4 and Toyota Supra recalled for in-your-face headlights

Toyota Tundra trucks recalled for faulty turn signals and hazard lights

Pleasanton, CA – July 15 2020 – Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) has recalled 183,397 Toyota Tundra trucks with front turn signals and front hazard warning lights that do not flash brightly enough, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall includes:

  • 2018-2020 Toyota Tundra trucks

Recall summary  

The turn signals and hazard lights operate using LED headlights.  A wiring error on the part of a supplier resulted in  signals and lights not being bright enough. 

Federal law requires that signals must be bright enough for other drivers to notice and understand that the vehicle is signaling a turn. In July, Toyota determined that the signals did not meet the standard and began the recall on August 17th.

Risks 

 Hazard lights are often used when the vehicle is not  moving or has mechanical problems.  Other drivers, particularly those in oncoming traffic, must be able to clearly see both turn signals and  hazard lights. If the lights are not noticeable, there is a high risk of a crash.

The 2020 Tundra has no other safety recalls, but both the 2018 and 2019 models have had various issues – including those with the fuel pump and the airbags – that have resulted in separate recalls.

The repair

The affected trucks need the wiring that connects to the lights to be replaced. The repair takes 45 minutes but Toyota advises owners that it may be necessary to leave the vehicle for a longer period of time. The repair is available now and is free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 180,000 trucks are included in this Toyota recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Ken BoydToyota Tundra trucks recalled for faulty turn signals and hazard lights

Toyota expands Prius recall

Pleasanton, CA – June 25, 2020 – Toyota (NYSE:TM) is recalling more Priuses for an electrical problem that may cause the car to suddenly lose power on the road.

The recall includes:

  • 2013-2015 Toyota Prius
  • 2014-2017 Toyota Prius V

Recall summary

Like with other Prius recalls in 2014 and 2018, the electrical system is at fault. Sometimes, hard acceleration overheats and damages a part called the inverter, which controls power flow in the car.  This usually triggers a fail-safe mode – also known as a  “limp-home” mode –  but this specific defect is causing cars to stall instead.

Sudden loss of power on the road can cause collisions, which may lead to injury and even death of the driver and other motorists.  The recall officially begins on August 10, 2020, but repairs will become available sometime in July.

In the meantime, drivers “should avoid placing a high load on the hybrid system by avoiding [rapidly accelerating from a full stop] when possible.

Driving risks

Stalling at a stoplight is arguably not as dangerous as losing power on the freeway. Vehicles may not be able to react in time and could ram a stalled car from behind. 

In April 2019, Ralph Vartabedian of the LA Times reported on drivers’ terrifying experiences with Prius inverter failure. “A Marina del Rey woman had to cross three lanes of fast-moving traffic on the 91 Freeway,” he wrote. “In another case, a Florida woman was rear-ended. The crash left her with a cracked vertebra and a punctured lung.”

If your car stalls, you should immediately turn on the emergency hazard lights and call 911 and your roadside assistance provider. Do not leave your vehicle if you are driving down a highway with several lanes of traffic.

Another software update

Toyota’s fix for the recall, like in 2018, is a software update. However, last time, dealers continued to see damaged inverters in cars that had received an update.

One of Toyota’s largest Southern California dealers, Roger Hogan reported the original issue to Toyota in 2017 and sued the company over the defect. Hogan believes the software is not the real problem, and that the only genuine fix would be to replace the inverter with a newer model, costing $2,000 per unit, according to Vartabedian’s article.

Toyota has launched a separate program to “repair or replace” damaged inverters for free before an update is performed. However, in order to qualify, the inverter must already be broken.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 266,000 cars are included in this Toyota recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool to check your car for open recalls.

Joe GlaserToyota expands Prius recall

Faulty Suspension Issue Prompts Toyota To Recall 2018-2019 RAV4 Vehicles

Laguna Hills, CA – Jun 03, 2020Toyota recalls 2018-2019 RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid vehicles because of cracks in the lower suspension arms. The cracks could result in the separation of the suspension arm from the front wheel assembly, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Hazards Created by the Faulty Suspension

If there is a crack in the suspension arm, it could eventually cause the suspension arm to break from the front wheel assembly. Depending upon the depth of the crack on the front lower arm and the vehicle’s driving patterns, the driver could potentially lose control of the vehicle when driving at high speeds.

Crashes that occur when drivers are traveling at high speeds are more serious and usually result in more severe injuries if not death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding was a factor in 9378 traffic-related deaths in 2018.

Upon discovering the problem with the cracks developing in some of the steel slabs, Toyota decided to conduct a voluntary recall of the vehicles for safety. Toyota’s records reveal that as of May 14, 2020, there are no known reported incidents related to the faulty RAV4 suspension issue, and no warranty claims have been filed.

Number of Vehicles Affected

Because only vehicles assembled with a specific slab of steel material from a specific supplier under certain production conditions contain the defect, Toyota does not know the actual number of the defected vehicles that exist.

Therefore, the 2020 Toyota recalls are based on the production records of the vehicles that could potentially be affected, which is a little more than 9,500 vehicles. The manufacture dates for the RAV4 vehicles are between September 25, 2019, and October 25, 2019. For the 2020 Toyota recalls, at least 1,000 of those RAV4 vehicles were distributed to Puerto Rico.

Toyota made a point to note that the RAV4 recalls do not apply to other Toyota or Lexus vehicles sold in the United States.

Other Toyota RAV4 Safety Issues

In 2019, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid sport utility vehicles were included in a recall for potentially defective brakes. More recently, owners should be reminded of the 2020 Toyota recalls relating to the fuel-tank issue.

Toyota is not the only manufacturer that seems to have problems with their suspension assemblies. Similar to the issue with the Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen recalled more that 7000 SUVs with defective suspension assemblies in 2018.

Toyota Not Yet Ready to Repair

Although a remedy is not yet available, Toyota estimates that RAV4 vehicle owners will be able to take their vehicle to any certified Toyota dealership to have the front lower suspension arms replaced as early as July 2020. To get the process started and locate a dealership near you, start by looking up your vehicle with the MotorSafety Vehicle Lookup Tool.

Joe GlaserFaulty Suspension Issue Prompts Toyota To Recall 2018-2019 RAV4 Vehicles

Toyota Recalls 3.4 Million Vehicles, Claiming Faulty Airbag Deployment

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 21, 2020 – Toyota is recalling certain 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid vehicles that may be installed with a faulty airbag installation.

The estimated total of affected vehicles is 3.4 million.

The Defect

Toyota is recalling 3.4 million vehicles worldwide (estimated 2.9 million affected U.S. vehicles) claiming that they were installed with an electronic defect causing the air bags not to deploy during a crash. The electronic control defect in the affected vehicles are not equipped with requisite protection against electrical noise during a vehicle crash – this can lead to an improper deployment of the airbag and impeded use and operation of seat-belt pretensioners. The electrical over-stress in certain Toyota vehicles is estimated to have caused one fatal crashes according to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

The faulty airbag control units were originally installed by TRW Automotive Holdings Corp and are estimated to be installed in 12.3 million Toyota, Fiat, Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi automobiles. NHTSA claims that eight deaths could be caused by the over-stress of the installed airbag control units. 

The Solution

Toyota has claimed that the solution to the issue would be to install a noise filter between the airbag control unit and the wire harness. If vehicle owners suspect that their specific vehicle is affected, they are advised to bring their vehicle into an authorized Toyota dealership for service or call Toyota customer service at 800-331-4331.

For more information on this and other recalls, visit www.motorsafety.org.

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyToyota Recalls 3.4 Million Vehicles, Claiming Faulty Airbag Deployment

Toyota Recalls Certain Toyota and Lexus Vehicles Due To Faulty Fuel Pump

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 16, 2020 – Toyota is recalling certain 2018 and 2019 Toyota and Lexus model year vehicles that may be installed with a faulty fuel pump. Hybrid vehicles are exempt from this recall.

The estimated total of affected vehicles is more than 1,830,000

The Defect

Toyota has not released specifics on the defect in the faulty fuel pumps. Affected drivers should expect to notice that the vehicle’s engine will start to run rough and a series of warning lights may appear on the dashboard or car monitor. Affected vehicles engines may stall and not restart if installed with the recalled fuel pump. 

Affected vehicles include

• 2018 and 2019 Toyota 4Runner, Highlander, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia SUVs; Toyota Camry sedans; Toyota Sienna minivans; and Toyota Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks

• 2018 and 2019 Lexus ES 350, GS 350, IS 300, LS 500 and sedans; Lexus LC 500, RC 350, and RC 300 coupes; and Lexus GX 460, LX 570, and RX 350 SUVs

• 2019 Lexus NX 300 and RX 350 L SUVs and GS 300 and GS200t sedans

• 2019 Toyota Avalon and Corolla sedans

Toyota cannot confirm or deny the number of injuries related to this specific recall.

Solution

According to a statement released by Toyota there is no current solution for this specific recall as the company is still “investigating the issue.” If vehicle owners suspect that their specific vehicle is affected, they are advised to stop operation of the vehicle and call Toyota customer service at 800-331-4331 or Lexus customer service at 800-255-3987 immediately. The specific recall numbers for Toyota vehicles are 20TB02 and 20TA02. The specific recall numbers for Lexus vehicles are 20LB01 and 20LA01. 

Affected vehicle owners should expect a formal notification from Toyota by mid-March, with specific instructions as the cause and solution of the faulty fuel pump issue. 

For more information on this and other recalls, visit www.motorsafety.org.

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyToyota Recalls Certain Toyota and Lexus Vehicles Due To Faulty Fuel Pump

New Toyota vehicles recalled for seat belt issues

Laguna Hills, Calif. – Dec. 26, 2019 – Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing is recalling certain 2019-2020 C-HR and 2020 Corolla and Corolla Hybrid vehicles. The affected vehicles are equipped with rear seat belt assemblies with a dual-mode locking mechanism that includes a seat belt webbing sensor locking mechanism  that may not work as expected.

The potential number of vehicles affected is 9,468.

The Defect

The defect is specific to vehicles that are equipped with rear seat belt assemblies with a dual- mode locking mechanism. The dual- mode locking mechanism is meant to lock the seat belt webbing. The mechanism goes into affect based on feedback from vehicle deceleration (G-sensor) and whether the seat belt webbing is pulled out quickly (webbing sensor). However, during a specific production period, which lasted from August 26, 2019, until October 10, 2019, part supplier Joyson Safety Systems used an improper adjustment while assembling a certain spring that was used in the webbing sensor locking mechanism. The spring may be installed at an incorrect position in certain affected vehicles. An incorrectly positioned spring may interfere with other components in the webbing sensor locking mechanism and cause the mechanism to not lock properly. The G-sensor will not be affected unless the vehicle has been involved in certain types of crashes. As a result of the defect, an occupant may not be restrained properly during a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

Toyota estimates that about 4% of vehicles with rear seat belt assemblies with a dual-mode locking mechanism have the defect.

Timeline Of Events

On August 28, 2019, a Toyota plant team member found that a webbing sensor locking mechanism for the rear seat belt on a vehicle that was in production did not activate. The possible defect was reported to Joyson Safety Systems, who launched their own investigation. This investigation determined the cause of the defect. A review by Joyson Safety Systems of their production history also identified other recent assemblies that contained similar issues. The next day, August 29, 2019, Joyson Safety Systems was able to adjust the compression pin that was being used for the defective springs to a proper position. Further review found that the problem may have been created by an adjustment on August 19, 2019.

On December 5, 2019, Toyota decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall campaign for the affected vehicles. Toyota has determined that no Toyota Field Technical Reports or warranty claims have been filed in the United States that pertain to this specific defect.

The Solution

Owners of affected vehicles that are known to Toyota will be notified to bring their vehicles in to a certified Toyota dealer. Each dealer will be tasked with inspecting the production date of the vehicle’s rear seat belt assemblies to determine if the vehicle is affected. If the vehicle contains the defect, dealers will replace the seat belt assembly with a new one that was produced correctly. Notifications to dealers were sent on December 10, 2019. Notifications for affected owners will occur in early February 2020. For both owners and dealers, a copy of the notification will be submitted by Toyota.

Payment for all of the repairs will be paid through the Toyota New Vehicle Limited Warranty, as all affected vehicles are within the active period of the warranty.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesNew Toyota vehicles recalled for seat belt issues

Toyota Yanks Over 928,200 Cars Over Air Bag Inflator Failing

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 24, 2019 – Vehicles produced by numerous automakers have been affected by faulty air bags in recent years, and one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers is the very latest to experience the fallout.

As a result, Toyota Motor Engineering is opting to recall more than 928,200 models of various types due to concerns that the air bags installed in these vehicles’ dashboards and steering wheels could explode upon deployment in a crash. Sharp metal fragments may be inside the air bag, thus causing injury or death to the driver or passenger should the bag tear and the debris fly out.

Recipients of mailers (due to be distributed Nov. 15) are strongly recommended to have their vehicles checked out by a Toyota dealership. The air bag assembly will be examined for any potential clues of compromise to see if a replacement is necessary.  In such cases, owners won’t be charged for the repair.

The Defect

Toyota has announced the recall of 928,203 models because the air bag inflators may be faulty, according to official filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A total of 17 different model types are included in this recall action, several of which are under Toyota’s luxury brand. Here’s a partial list:

  • 2007-2012 Lexus ES350
  • 2010-2017 Lexus GX460
  • 2006-2012 Lexus IS 250
  • 2010-2015 Lexus IS 250c
  • 2006-2012 Lexus IS 350
  • 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner
  • 2003-2013 Toyota Corolla
  • 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla Matrix
  • 2004-2005 Toyota RAV4
  • 2002-2007 Toyota Sequoia

Officials note that the propellant used to inflate the air bags once triggered may degrade in high-humidity environments, which could lead to an explosion of the air bag itself. Sharp objects within the unit could cause serious injury or death should they strike the passenger or driver.

Timeline of Events

As previously noted, Toyota is one of several automakers impacted by air bag recalls, as millions of automobiles have returned to dealerships so their original bags can be swapped out for fully operating ones. In fact, all of the listed vehicles were a part of a separate air bag recall for the same problem. This is the second and final phase of the original recall. The errant air bags in question were developed by Takata, which filed for bankruptcy in 2017. According to Reuters, at least 24 people have been killed worldwide as a result of rupturing air bags. Of these deaths, 16 took place in the U.S.

Just because there are recall notices out on numerous makes and models doesn’t mean that they’re all attended to, despite owners’ receipt of notifications. In 2018, however, repair rates improved rather sharply among several models. These included the 2006 Ford Ranger (82% in October 2018 from 6% in January 2018), and multiple 2001-2003 Honda models, with an overall 96% repair rate by the end of 2018, according to NHTSA data.

Several of the automobiles subject to this latest air bag recall were also involved in a previous one that was announced in February. That one affected 1.2 million vehicles, among them 2010-2016 4Runner, 2011-2013 Corolla and 2011-2013 Corolla Matrix vehicles.

The Solution

Starting Nov. 15, Toyota will begin distributing notifications via first-class mail informing owners of this most recent air bag recall. Before this, however, each car will be inspected to determine the nature of the problem and the appropriate corrective action. For example, the driver and/or passenger air bags may be defective. Whatever the case may be, the inflator, air bag assembly or both will be swapped out. This repair is for free, and depending on the day, the fix should take approximately one hour to complete.

For more information on air bag recalls and those automakers impacted by them, please visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesToyota Yanks Over 928,200 Cars Over Air Bag Inflator Failing

Toyota recalls vehicles with defective brakes

Laguna Hills, Calif. — July 31, 2019 — Toyota Motor North America has recalled almost 7,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective brakes, according to an organizational press release. The safety action affects multiple models across the Toyota and Lexus brands, including:

  • 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid sport utility vehicles
  • 2019-2020 Toyota Prius Prime sedans
  • 2020 Toyota Prius sedans
  • 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid sedans
  • 2019 Lexus UX 250h crossovers
  • 2019 Lexus ES 300h sedans
  • 2019 Lexus LC 500 and LC 500h coupes

The Japanese automaker has yet to speculate just how many of the recalled vehicles could actually contain the defective components.

The Defect

The affected vehicles could come equipped with brake assemblies that have improperly manufactured and failure-prone booster pumps. Should these features falter, both the brake assist and Vehicle Stability Control modules may also stop functioning, drastically reducing vehicle drivability and increasing the risk of an accident. And in addition to posing an immense danger to owners, occupants and pedestrians, the defect creates a condition that violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 126, which requires “electronic stability control systems on passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 Kg (10,000 pounds) or less,” according to the NHTSA.

Timeline of Events

Toyota has yet to release more specific details on the investigation that lead to this recall.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to assess all recalled vehicles and, if necessary, replace their brake booster pumps at no cost to customers. Toyota intends to notify owners throughout the month of September 2019 via first-class mail. Those in need of more immediate assistance can connect with Toyota customer service personnel by calling (800) 331-4331, or reach out to Lexus staff at (800) 255-3987. Owners can always contact the NHTSA directly by using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesToyota recalls vehicles with defective brakes