Toyota recalls vehicles with defective air bag sensors

 

Plano, TX – March 1, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing has recalled more than 48,000 vehicles potentially equipped defective air bag sensors, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models, including:

  • 2016 Toyota Prius hybrid sedans produced between June 9, 2015 and Dec. 25, 2015.
  • 2015-2016 Lexus NX hybrid luxury crossovers produced between May 25, 2015 and Oct. 16, 2015.
  • 2016 Lexus RX luxury sport utility vehicles produced between May 7, 2015 and Jan. 13, 2016.

Toyota is unsure what percentage of the vehicles actually contain the defective equipment.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain air bag assemblies featuring acceleration and pressure sensors with defective integrated circuit chips. These electronic components are coated in insulation prone to peeling. In the event that this does occur, an open circuit may materialize within the IC chip, causing the associated acceleration and pressure sensors to fail. Should this occur, front, side and curtain air bags may not deploy properly in the event of an accident. This poses a serious safety hazard to occupants. However, Toyota has yet to receive reports connecting the defective parts to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In October 2015, Toyota received reports from the American and Asian markets outlining instances in which drivers observed their air bag warning lights illuminating, indicating that the safety features in their respective vehicles were not functioning properly, according to a chronology document submitted to the NHTSA. Toyota recovered parts from the vehicles referenced in the reports and conducted tests. These analyses showed that the pressure and acceleration sensors were not functioning due to an open circuit, a product of widespread IC chip insulation peeling. The vehicles involved in the reports were all produced in June and July 2015, and most originated from the Asian market.

Toyota continued to conduct tests throughout the fall of 2015 and winter, spring and summer of 2016. Eventually, these evaluations revealed that the Desno Corporation, the automaker’s air bag sensor supplier, had in November 2014 amended its gas flow control methodology for acceleration and pressure sensor insulation installation. This production change led to the release of high quantities of phosphorus gas. Denso eventually returned to its previous gas flow control strategy Dec. 13.

In June 2016, Toyota received another report centered on the nonworking pressure and acceleration sensors, this time from a dealer in the U.S. market. The automaker decided to consider regional environmental variability in its ongoing investigation in the defective parts, as it suspected humidity levels and temperature could play a role in the degradation of the IC chip insulation. Engineers involved in the inquiry also returned to the high phosphorus that resulted from Desno’s production adjustment. Toyota ultimately exposed the phosphorus-laden IC chips to high humidity and temperatures for extended periods of time in an effort to replicate the sensor dysfunction detailed in the original field report received in October 2015.

As these tests got off the ground, Toyota received additional reports outlining instances in which drivers had encountered air bag warning lights. The car company retrieved the parts installed in the vehicles mentioned in the report and found that their IC chips did not function. Engineers eventually found that another production malfunction at the Desno plant – this time the breakage of device meant to measure boron concentration levels within IC chip insulation – and laid the groundwork for failure. The devices shipped to Toyota featured insulation with overly high concentrations of boron and, as investigators eventually learned, facilitated the development of open circuits. Desno amended its production processes immediately to ensure such an error did not reoccur.

In April 2017, Toyota concluded the IC chip exposure tests and found that the phosphorus-filled insulation did indeed lead to the creation of open circuits, which could cause acceleration and pressure sensors to fail. The automaker also confirmed that high temperatures and humidity levels exacerbated the degradation of the insulation. The organization continued to explore this issue throughout the rest of 2017 and ultimately ended its investigation in January 2018.

On Jan. 25 Toyota quality assurance personnel reviewed the matter and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. Toyota informed dealers Jan. 31, at which point it had collected seven field technical reports and 110 warranty claims related to the defective acceleration and pressure sensors.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to replace the air bag sensors in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. Toyota intends to notify owners via first-class mail between March 12 and April 1. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can connect with Toyota customer service personnel by calling (800) 331-4331 and using the internal recall identification codes JLA or J0F. They can also reach out the the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesToyota recalls vehicles with defective air bag sensors

Toyota recalls vehicles with defective air bag sensors

 

Plano, TX – March 1, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing has recalled more than 48,000 vehicles potentially equipped defective air bag sensors, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects multiple models, including:

  • 2016 Toyota Prius hybrid sedans produced between June 9, 2015 and Dec. 25, 2015.
  • 2015-2016 Lexus NX hybrid luxury crossovers produced between May 25, 2015 and Oct. 16, 2015.
  • 2016 Lexus RX luxury sport utility vehicles produced between May 7, 2015 and Jan. 13, 2016.

Toyota is unsure what percentage of the vehicles actually contain the defective equipment.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain air bag assemblies featuring acceleration and pressure sensors with defective integrated circuit chips. These electronic components are coated in insulation prone to peeling. In the event that this does occur, an open circuit may materialize within the IC chip, causing the associated acceleration and pressure sensors to fail. Should this occur, front, side and curtain air bags may not deploy properly in the event of an accident. This poses a serious safety hazard to occupants. However, Toyota has yet to receive reports connecting the defective parts to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In October 2015, Toyota received reports from the American and Asian markets outlining instances in which drivers observed their air bag warning lights illuminating, indicating that the safety features in their respective vehicles were not functioning properly, according to a chronology document submitted to the NHTSA. Toyota recovered parts from the vehicles referenced in the reports and conducted tests. These analyses showed that the pressure and acceleration sensors were not functioning due to an open circuit, a product of widespread IC chip insulation peeling. The vehicles involved in the reports were all produced in June and July 2015, and most originated from the Asian market.

Toyota continued to conduct tests throughout the fall of 2015 and winter, spring and summer of 2016. Eventually, these evaluations revealed that the Desno Corporation, the automaker’s air bag sensor supplier, had in November 2014 amended its gas flow control methodology for acceleration and pressure sensor insulation installation. This production change led to the release of high quantities of phosphorus gas. Denso eventually returned to its previous gas flow control strategy Dec. 13.

In June 2016, Toyota received another report centered on the nonworking pressure and acceleration sensors, this time from a dealer in the U.S. market. The automaker decided to consider regional environmental variability in its ongoing investigation in the defective parts, as it suspected humidity levels and temperature could play a role in the degradation of the IC chip insulation. Engineers involved in the inquiry also returned to the high phosphorus that resulted from Desno’s production adjustment. Toyota ultimately exposed the phosphorus-laden IC chips to high humidity and temperatures for extended periods of time in an effort to replicate the sensor dysfunction detailed in the original field report received in October 2015.

As these tests got off the ground, Toyota received additional reports outlining instances in which drivers had encountered air bag warning lights. The car company retrieved the parts installed in the vehicles mentioned in the report and found that their IC chips did not function. Engineers eventually found that another production malfunction at the Desno plant – this time the breakage of device meant to measure boron concentration levels within IC chip insulation – and laid the groundwork for failure. The devices shipped to Toyota featured insulation with overly high concentrations of boron and, as investigators eventually learned, facilitated the development of open circuits. Desno amended its production processes immediately to ensure such an error did not reoccur.

In April 2017, Toyota concluded the IC chip exposure tests and found that the phosphorus-filled insulation did indeed lead to the creation of open circuits, which could cause acceleration and pressure sensors to fail. The automaker also confirmed that high temperatures and humidity levels exacerbated the degradation of the insulation. The organization continued to explore this issue throughout the rest of 2017 and ultimately ended its investigation in January 2018.

On Jan. 25 Toyota quality assurance personnel reviewed the matter and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. Toyota informed dealers Jan. 31, at which point it had collected seven field technical reports and 110 warranty claims related to the defective acceleration and pressure sensors.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to replace the air bag sensors in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. Toyota intends to notify owners via first-class mail between March 12 and April 1. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can connect with Toyota customer service personnel by calling (800) 331-4331 and using the internal recall identification codes JLA or J0F. They can also reach out the the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Sean ReyesToyota recalls vehicles with defective air bag sensors

Toyota Recalling Many Vehicles for Incorrect Load Labeling

 

Plano, Texas – Jan. 18, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing recently issued a recall of nearly 650 vehicles across a number of its most popular models over concerns that a software error led to incorrect information being printed on capacity labels, according to a filing made with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall includes the following types of Toyota vehicles:

  • 4Runner light SUVs produced in the 2017 and 2018 model years, produced from July 11 to Oct. 6, 2017.
  • Highlander SUVs from the 2018 model year produced between Oct. 24 and 26, 2017.
  • RAV4 light SUVs from the 2018 model year produced from Sept. 11 to 25, 2017.
  • Sienna minivans from the 2017 model year, produced on Oct. 12, 2017.
  • Tacoma trucks from the 2017 model year, produced from July 11 to Nov. 2, 2017.
  • Tundra trucks from the 2017 and 2018 model years, produced from July 11 to Nov. 4, 2017.

The recall also includes Lexus GX460 SUVs from the 2018 model year, produced from Aug. 9 to Oct. 20, 2017.

The Defect

Due to the programming error, which led to incorrect accessory weight calculations, labels about the vehicles’ load-carrying capacities were printed with the incorrect information. That issue, in turn, means the vehicles do not meet basic Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards requirements. Moreover, drivers who overload their vehicles based on the inaccurate information could increase their risk of a crash.

All vehicles in the recall are expected to carry this defect, but not all of them were sold in the U.S.

Timeline of Events

In late November, Toyota received information from a vehicle processing center that indicated a number of trucks and SUVs had been given load-carrying capacity labels with inaccurate information, and the issue was quickly tracked back to a software error that was corrected in short order.

The company then determined that the affected period in which the incorrect information was being printed lasted from Sept. 7 to Nov. 17, 2017 and conducted a review of affected vehicles based on their vehicle identification numbers to determine the extent of the issue and find out whether the software error resulted in noncompliance with the FMVSS.

On Dec. 14, 2017, Toyota noted that the incorrect labels did put the vehicles outside FMVSS requirements and initiated the recall.

The Solution

Toyota has already begun mailing replacement labels and instructions to owners of affected vehicles via first-class mail. Because all these vehicles were still under their New Vehicle Limited Warranties, the company would have covered any associated repair costs free of charge.

The automaker notified dealers of the recall on Dec. 20, 2017, and planned to mail the replacement labels and instructions to vehicle owners from Jan. 15, 2018 to Feb. 18, 2018.

adminToyota Recalling Many Vehicles for Incorrect Load Labeling

Toyota Recalling Nearly 40,000 Prius Hybrids [Video]

Recall Masters – December 28, 2017

Toyota Recalling Nearly 40,000 Prius Hybrids [Video]

Toyota is recalling almost 40,000 of its popular plug-in Prius Hybrids from model years 2012 to 2015 due to a design issue.
The defect in question stems from the potential for the car’s hybrid battery, to overheat if placed under significant stress.
This might include driving with heavy loads or up steep hills for a long time.
If this happens, warning lights could turn on in the instrument panel, or in more severe conditions, the car may experience loss of power or total shutdown of the hybrid system.
Owners of affected vehicles will be notified of the recall in mid-January, and can bring them to local Toyota dealers to replace old fuses with new and improved products…

Read the entire article on the Recall Masters website

Sean ReyesToyota Recalling Nearly 40,000 Prius Hybrids [Video]

Toyota Recalling Nearly 40,000 Prius Hybrids [Video]

Hello and welcome back to the recall blog.

Toyota is recalling almost 40,000 of its popular plug-in Prius Hybrids from model years 2012 to 2015 due to a design issue.

The defect in question stems from the potential for the car’s hybrid battery, to overheat if placed under significant stress.

This might include driving with heavy loads or up steep hills for a long time.

If this happens, warning lights could turn on in the instrument panel, or in more severe conditions, the car may experience loss of power or total shutdown of the hybrid system.

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified of the recall in mid-January, and can bring them to local Toyota dealers to replace old fuses with new and improved products.

Thanks for watching, and be sure to check back again for more recall information.

adminToyota Recalling Nearly 40,000 Prius Hybrids [Video]

Toyota 4Runners Recalled Due to Grill Overlay Issue

 

Deerfield Beach, Florida – Dec. 19, 2017 – Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, recently issued a recall for 431 Toyota 4Runner sport utility vehicles from model years 2015 to 2018, citing concerns over the front grille of the vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall revolves around billet grille overlay kits sold by Southeast Toyota Distributors with U-nuts that can fracture, potentially leading the overlay to detach from the grille itself and potentially lead to a road hazard for following traffic. That, in turn, can increase the risk of crashes and injuries.

In all, 100 percent of the recalled vehicles are expected to have this issue, one from the 2015 model year, five from 2016, and the rest from either 2017 or 2018. These vehicles were produced from Dec. 5, 2014, to Oct. 26, 2017.

The Defect

Southeast Toyota Distributors began receiving accessory billet grille overlays in October 2014, but in mid-July 2017 those kits began coming with revised U-nuts treated with phosphate. Soon after, the organization began receiving reports from technicians about fractures, as well as two field reports in which the U-nuts fractured. However, only the newer U-nuts have reportedly fractured.

Timeline of Events

In November 2017, reports of these issues started to come into Southeast Toyota Dealers, leading to the company contacting the grille overlay supplier, T-Rex Truck Products in Corona, California. However, neither company could replicate the conditions that led to the phosphate-treated U-nuts fracturing, even when applying torque above and beyond normal conditions. Despite that, SET has issued a recall for all vehicles with the grille overlay made since the revised U-nut was added to the kit.

Beginning Nov. 20, the parts supplier is issuing new hardware for the grille overlay kits.

The Solution

SET is currently working with IHS Automotive to get as much current contact information for owners of the 4Runners in the recall, and will mail recall notification letters on or around Jan. 26, 2018. Dealers were already notified in late November.

Owners who take the vehicles into local dealerships will have the U-nuts replaced with upgraded hardware free of charge.

adminToyota 4Runners Recalled Due to Grill Overlay Issue

Toyota recalls tens of thousands of SUVs with faulty e-brakes

 

Plano, Texas – Dec. 7, 2017 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing recently issued a recall for nearly 28,600 new vehicles due to concerns about the efficacy of their electric parking brakes and skid control computers, according to a letter submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Specifically, the recall affects 2018 Toyota C-HR sport utility vehicles, which were first introduced this year and produced between Feb. 2, 2017 and Oct. 17, 2017. Currently, Toyota is unable to estimate what percentage of these vehicles were affected by the potential issues, noting in its filing, ” Whether the condition will occur prior to first sale and constitute a noncompliance will differ depending on the environment and conditions that the vehicle is exposed to.”

Not all of the vehicles in the recall were actually sold in the U.S., however, as the issues were first spotted in Japan.

The Defect

The recall notice states that Toyota discovered a possibility the computer that controls the C-HR’s skid control function may “incorrectly identify a small increase in circuit resistance” due to a film applied to the electric parking brake motor’s open circuit. Most often, this is likely to occur when a parking brake hasn’t been used in a while.

When this issue arises, the vehicle’s dashboard will light up, advising the driver that there has been an “EPB Malfunction” and that they should visit a dealer, as well as the inability to disengage the parking brake, or to apply it in the first place.

The latter issue, in turn, creates a potential rollaway risk if vehicles are stopped on a significant enough slope and not put into park properly.

Timeline of Events

The recall came in the wake of a few C-HRs in Japan reportedly having their EPBs stick after being applied, prompting an investigation into the issue from Toyota. As a result of that effort, which concluded in late October, the automaker determined the potential cause of the issue to be the oxide film on the EPB motor. However, C-HRs were not intended to go on sale in the U.S. before Nov. 9, so many of the issues might have cropped up before the vehicles got into consumers’ hands.

The Solution

Nonetheless, Toyota is issuing letters to all known owners of C-HRs to return their vehicles to the dealerships where the SUVs were purchased, for a quick, no-cost update to the programming on the skid control computer, rather than fixing anything to do with the EPB itself. All such repairs will fall well within the window of the company’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty. These notifications were expected to reach most owners by late November, but some could arrive as late as mid-January.

For more information about the recall, owners will be able to call either Toyota’s hotline at 1-800-331-4331, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. They can also visit www.safercar.gov for more information.

adminToyota recalls tens of thousands of SUVs with faulty e-brakes

Toyota recalls hybrids with defective fuses

 

Plano, TX – Nov. 30, 2017 – Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing has recalled more than 39,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective fuses, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2012-2015 Toyota Prius PHV plug-in hybrid sedans manufactured between July 20, 2011 and Jan. 8, 2015. Toyota is unsure what percentage of the vehicles referenced in the recall actually contain the defective components.

The Defect

The affected sedans may contain electric vehicle fuses prone to fracture following excessive thermal stress. Normally, this condition develops during high-load driving maneuvers such as prolonged ascents. In instances in which the fuse fractures and subsequently opens while in operation, the vehicle may lose power or continue to function but with reduced capacity. This defect poses a serious risk to owners, as the sudden loss of motive power could increase the likelihood of an accident. However, Toyota has yet to receive reports linking the damage-prone fuse to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

Toyota received a field report from the European market in August 2014 detailing an instance in which a Prius PHV sedan lost motive power, triggering interior warning lights, according to a chronology document submitted to the NHTSA. A dealer determined that the hybrid battery was the root cause of the event and installed a replacement, eventually sending the damaged original to the Toyota home office for further evaluation. Here, engineers found that the EV fuse was fractured and ultimately attributed the problem to an installation error. Toyota reviewed its production processes and eventually determined the fuse was bent during manufacturing, inhibiting its durability. The automaker updated its processes to prevent similar problems in February 2015.

In March 2015, Toyota received additional reports from the U.S. market. Engineers for the company inspected fuses from six vehicles, four of which showed signs of fracturing. Toyota began to consider that these defective parts were not the result of flawed manufacturing workflows, but the product of deeper mechanical issues, specifically excessive current generated during high-load driving. However, the car company could not replicate the issue in-house and put a hold on ongoing investigations related to the defective fuses in June 2017.

Then, one month later, another report came in outlining a situation in which an owner in Japan lost motive power in the middle of an intersection. The EV fuse installed in the vehicle was fractured. The driver told Toyota officials that he frequently drove up inclines under electric power only. Engineers attempted to replicate the problem by driving the exact same route the owner had driven but were once again unable to do so. However, they did record data that indicated prolonged large current flow. This information led them to perform additional tests during which vehicles were subjected to multiple slow-speed ascents. During these trials, the engineers were able to replicate the fuse fracture.

On Nov. 9, 2017, Toyota launched a voluntary safety recall to address the issue. The automaker notified dealers Nov. 14.

The Solution

Toyota has directed dealers to replace the EV fuses in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The car manufacturing company intends to notify owners via first-class mail Jan. 8, 2018. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Toyota customer service personnel at (800) 331-4331. Callers should use the internal recall identification code H0R. Owners can also contact the NHTSA directly using the toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Toyota recalls hybrids with defective inverters

 

Torrance, Calif. – Nov. 7, 2017 – Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing has recalled a handful of hybrid vehicles with defective inverter assemblies, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2016 Toyota Prius hybrid sedans produced between Dec. 15, 2015 and June 8, 2016. Toyota is unsure how many of the recalled models contain defective parts.

The Defect

The vehicles referenced in the action come equipped with inverter assemblies whose capacitors may not be properly secured to the inverter housing. This assembly flaw leaves the capacitor terminal vulnerable to damaging vibration during vehicle operation, increasing the likelihood of a complete hybrid system shutdown. In the event that this occurs, the vehicle loses all motive power, creating a serious safety hazard for occupants. While capacitor terminal damage results in engine shutdown, the power steering and braking systems continue to function normally.

Toyota has yet to receive field reports detailing any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In April 2017, the automaker received a report from a U.S. dealer detailing an instance in which a 2016 Prius failed to failed to start, according to an internal document submitted to the NHTSA. Toyota engineers recovered and inspected the inverter assembly in the vehicle, and found that capacitor mounting bolts were missing. They also discovered that the capacitor itself had incurred terminal damage. The car company launched an investigation to determine how the capacitor bolts had gone missing, focusing on production data and records of the inverter installation process. Toyota found that the inverter assembly had been reworked during capacitor installation and that personnel had failed to re-install the bolts. Toyota soon amended its capacitor installation workflow to prevent similar scenarios from unfolding in the future.

In July 2017, engineers at the vehicle manufacturing company initiated replication tests to better understand the capacitor terminal damage observed in the vehicle in the report. Staff simulated operational vehicle vibration and applied it to the inverter assembly with the unbolted capacitor. Toyota found that the capacitor was prone to damage in these conditions. It initiated bench testing in an attempt to replicate the engine failure mentioned in the report, but was unable to do so.

One month later, Toyota received a report from the European market outlining events similar to those detailed in the April report from the U.S. market. Toyota recovered the inverter assembly from the vehicle referenced in the report and found that capacitor mounting bolts were missing. The capacitor terminal had sustained significant damage. Resin from another nearby part also melted within the inverter housing. Toyota installed the inverter assembly in a trial vehicle to see if the component, when stressed, led to complete engine shutdown. During the subsequent test, the trial vehicle lost all motive power, as the hybrid system ceased operation. The car company disassembled the inverter assembly used in the trial car and found that the capacitor terminal had sustained further damage.

With these results in hand, Toyota officials concluded that vehicles with inverter assemblies that lack capacitor mounting bolts are vulnerable to complete engine shutdown. On Oct. 12, the car company chose to conduct a voluntary safety recall. As of that date, Toyota had received one warranty claim and zero technical field reports related to the defect from dealers in the U.S. market. Dealers received notification Oct. 18.

The Solution

Toyota has instructed dealers to replace the inverter assemblies in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. The organization plans to notify owners via telephone in December. Those in need of more immediate assistance can connect with Toyota customer service staff at (800) 331-4331. Callers should use the internal recall identification code H0U. Owners can also reach out the NHTSA directly using its toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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