Laguna Hills, CA – October 19, 2018 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2019 Toyota C-HR vehicles due to insufficiently tightened rear axle bearing bolts. The recall is expected to include 681 potentially affected vehicles, as no more than 0.1% of those included are expected to actually contain the defect. Toyota estimates this based on the results of inspections that, as of September 25th, out of 4500 inspected vehicles, there were 4 vehicles with the hub bearing bolts not tightened sufficiently.
According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the subject vehicles are equipped with left-hand and right-hand rear axle hub bearing assemblies. These are connected to the rear axle carrier subassemblies by four rear axle bearing bolts. One or more rear axle bearing bolts on a few vehicles may not have been sufficiently during the manufacturing process at one particular facility.
Any insufficiently tightened bolt could become loose during vehicle operation and could eventually detach. Any detached bolt could damage the rear brake components during rotation, or result in a rear wheel detaching completely, Either of these events can cause a reduction of brake performance or a potential loss of vehicle stability, increasing the risk of a crash.
Timeline of Events
In late August 2018, Toyota received a field report from the Russia market about a 2018MY C-HR. The report indicated that of the four rear left-hand axle hub and bearing bolts, three were loose and one was missing altogether. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT) investigated the possibility of any abnormality in the hub and bearing assembly manufacturing process.
A review revealed that during the production period spanning four days after a planned manufacturing facility shutdown in mid-June, tightening errors occurred sporadically in the hub bearing tightening process. This was confirmed to be due to several process and equipment changes in the hub and bearing assembly manufacturing process which caused a failure to confirm the torque and allowed the passing of parts to the next process.
TMMT initiated a 100% tightening torque confirmation and introduced a series of improvements to prevent bolt tightening error and began to inspect the vehicles in Toyota inventory equipped with the hub and bearing assemblies that were produced in the indicated production period.
An additional field report was received on September 18th from the UK market describing a C-HR vehicle produced outside the time period, with two loose and two missing rear left-hand axle bearing bolts. The investigation allowed an expanded time period for potential issues to be identified and confirmed, and Toyota decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall campaign in early October.
All known owners of the subject vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota dealer. The dealership will inspect all rear axle hub bearing bolts, and if a bolt is found to be loose or detached, the dealer will replace the rear axle hub bearing assembly and rear axle carrier sub-assembly with new parts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 9, 2018. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota’s number for this recall is J0Y.
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-710.