Another day, another Toyota recall. Despite the fact that most of the lineup is being recalled, the number isn’t nearly as staggering as it has been in the past. No, just a mere 3,235 units were affected…but the issue could be quite serious. The vehicles involved are: Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Corolla, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Prius, Prius V, Rav4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra and Venza. So, that’s pretty much their entire lineup.
Specifically, it has to due with the affected vehicles that were customised by Southeast Toyota Distributors. In case you are not familiar with them, they have a similar arraignment with Toyota that Gulf States Toyota does, in that they purchase the vehicles from Toyota, then distribute them out to retail dealers…not before adding a few accessories to boost their profit margins. But beyond the pinstriping and digital clocks, these vehicles were modified with aftermarket leather seat covers (generally better than OEM leather, and I personally recommend getting this done if you want leather in your vehicle), as well as DVD players in the headrests. During the modifications, the passenger seat airbag calibration may have not been re-tested, once the seat was put back into place. In any event, if the sensors aren’t calibrated like they were from the factory, it probably won’t work like it should…in that the airbag may or may not go off.
And we all know the last thing that Toyota needs is another lawsuit.
According to the NHTSA, the recall will begin later this month. Just like every other Toyota recall, they will notify the affected owners, and have them bring the vehicles into the dealerships for testing and possible repair. You would think by now, Toyota would have all of this squared away…but a part of me feels like we are far away from the last chapter being written.
Check out the press release below for more information.
Report Receipt Date: JAN 16, 2013
NHTSA Campaign Number: 13V014000
Toyota Products Associated with this Recall:
– 2009-2010 AVALON, FJ CRUISER, HIGHLANDER HYBRID
– 2009-2012 4RUNNER, CAMRY, CAMRY HYBRID, PRIUS, RAV4, TACOMA
– 2009-2013 HIGHLANDER, VENZA
– 2010-2012 SEQUOIA
– 2010-2013 COROLLA, SIENNA, TUNDRA
– 2012 PRIUS V
Component(s): AIR BAGS , SEATS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3,235
Manufacturer: Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC
Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is recalling certain models interspersed through model years 2009 through 2013 as follows: model year 2009-2012 Tacoma, 4Runner, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Prius, and RAV4; model year 2009-2010 Avalon, FJ Cruiser, and Highlander Hybrid; model year 2010-2013 model year Corolla, Sienna and Tundra; model year 2009-2013 Highlander and Venza; model year 2012 Prius V; and model year 2010-2012 Sequoia. During modification by SET to include accessories such as leather seat covers, seat heaters or headrest DVD systems, these vehicles may not have had the passenger seat occupant sensing system calibration tested. Without passing the calibration test, the occupant sensing system may not operate as designed.
If the front passenger seat occupant sensing system is out of calibration, the front passenger airbags may not deploy or they may deploy inappropriately for the passenger’s size and position. This could increase the risk of personal injury during the event of a vehicle crash necessitating airbag deployment.
Southeast Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will test the sensitivity of the occupant detection sensors, and recalibrate them as necessary. The recall is expected to begin during January 2013. Owners may contact Southeast Toyota at 1-800-301-6859.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.