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

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