Electronic defect in Toyota models, recalls 3.4m vehicles

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

Consequent upon discovery that some of its vehicle airbags may not deploy in crashes, Toyota is set to recall 3.4million vehicles worldwide.

Toyota Motor Corp said Tuesday, January 21 it would recall 3.4million vehicles worldwide because of an electronic defect that can result in air bags not deploying in crashes.

The recall, which includes 2.9 million U.S. vehicles, covers 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid vehicles and is tied to a report of a fatal crash, Reuters report says.

The vehicles, ConsumerConnect gathered, may have an electronic control unit that “does not have adequate protection against electrical noise that can occur in crashes, which could lead to incomplete or non-deployment of the air bags.”

It could also impede the operation of seat-belt pretensioners.

In April 2019, the United States (U.S.) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded a probe into 12.3million potentially defective air bags, covering a number of automakers, including the vehicles Toyota is recalling.

NHTSA at the time said it had identified two frontal crash events, including a fatal crash “involving Toyota products where (electrical overstress) is suspected as the likely cause” of air bags not deploying.

Both involved newer Corolla cars, the report said.

NHTSA said the air bags under investigation were installed in more than 12million vehicles from 2010 through 2019 sold by Toyota, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Honda Motor Co, Hyundai Motor Co, Kia Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi.

They were equipped with an air bag control unit initially produced by TRW Automotive Holdings Corporation, which is now owned by ZF Friedrichshafen.

In total, NHTSA said as many as eight deaths could be tied to the issue.

Toyota dealers will install a noise filter between the air bag control module and its wire harness if needed.

However, Toyota has reportedly declined to say how many deaths or injuries have been tied to the defect.

Toyota will notify vehicle owners of the recall by mid-March 2020, the report added.

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