In the world of auto recalls, Toyota reigns supreme with their April 9, 2014, announcement of a 6.4 million vehicle recall. Vehicles are being recalled to fix a range of safety defects on 27 of their models, including top sellers such as the Camry sedan, RAV4 sport utility vehicle and the Corolla.
This recall, like GM’s, spans back a decade and is a setback for President Akio Toyoda who has spent years trying to restore the company’s reputation for quality following their recall crisis over unintended acceleration. Just last month Toyota admitted to wrongdoing and was hit with a $1.2 billion settlement, the largest criminal penalty ever imposed in the U.S. on an automaker. Perhaps it’s the intense scrutiny GM is facing right now that inspired this massive recall.
None of the various defects are linked with crashes or deaths, but Toyota is aware of two fires linked to a defective starter.
Toyota models affected by one or more of the defects include: RAV4, Corolla, Matrix/Vibe, Trezia/Viz, Yaris, Highlander, Tacoma and Hilux pickups, Reiz, Fortuner, Innova, Land Cruiser Prado and Camry nameplates. The Pontiac Vibe is a rebadged Toyota Matrix and the Trezia is a Toyota Viz.
Toyota Recall by the Numbers
A breakdown of the latest recalls and the units involved:
- Faulty spiral cables for driver’s air bags: 3.5 million
- Possible locking problems on seat rails: 2.32 million
- Failing steering column brackets: 760,000
- Windshield wipers with drainage problems: 160,000
- Possible fire hazard in starter motors: 20,000
The recalls total 6.76 million vehicles. But because some vehicles are involved in more than one recall, only 6.39 million vehicles are being remedied.
Also announced on April 9, 2014, Toyota is recalling certain Yaris and Scion xD vehicles. As posted on their website:
TORRANCE, Calif., April 9, 2014 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today announced that it will conduct a safety recall involving approximately 472,500 vehicles consisting of certain Model Year 2006-2010 Yaris Hatchback vehicles (approximately 158,000); certain Model Year 2007-2010 Yaris Sedan vehicles (approximately 250,500); and certain Model Year 2008-2010 Scion xD vehicles (approximately 64,000).
In the seat rail of the driver seat of the involved vehicles and also the front passenger seat of three-door models, the springs used for the mechanism which lock the seat rail in its adjusting positions could break. This can happen if the seat is adjusted forward and/or rearward with high frequency. If a seat rail spring breaks, the seat may not lock into the adjusted position. If the vehicle is operated with a broken seat rail spring, the seat could move in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury to the occupant.
If the condition is present, an occupant may notice the following:
- If both of the springs have broken, the seat will not lock into the adjusted position.
- In limited instances, if a spring has broken and becomes stuck in the seat rail, the seat may only be capable of forward movement.
Toyota is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by this condition.
Toyota is currently preparing the remedy. Once preparations are complete, owners of vehicles subject to this safety recall are supposed to receive an owner notification letter by first class mail.
The remedy, when available, will involve replacement of the seat track assembly at no charge to the customer.
Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall, the Toyota Customer Experience at 1 800-331-4331, www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987).
Related article, from CNNMoney:
Toyota’s troubles: A timeline: Since 2007, issues with brakes, floor mats and gas pedals have resulted in the recall of over 10 million vehicles.