Toyota Airbags May Not Work Properly, Automaker Tells Safety Agency
Toyota is calling back more than one million vehicles across the U.S., citing possible problems with airbags.
The recall covers various 2020-2022 Camry, Corolla, RAV4, Lexus ES250 models, as well as Highlander and Sienna Hybrid vehicles. Sensors could short circuit, causing passenger airbags to malfunction, the company told federal vehicle safety regulators.
The cars’ feature Supplemental Restraint Systems, which manage airbag deployment in the event of a crash based on “occupant load.” The systems may incorrectly switch off passenger airbags, according to Toyota.
“If the short circuit occurs, the SRS warning lamp will illuminate, the ‘Passenger Airbag OFF’ lamp will illuminate…and the front passenger airbag may not deploy in certain crashes as designed,” Toyota said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company added that such a malfunction would increase “the risk of injury to an occupant in the seat.”
Toyota plans to notify owners of recalled cars via mail by February 18. The company will ask owners to bring their vehicles to authorized service providers to have sensors inspected and replaced, if needed.
It will also pick up the tab for certain owners who have already paid out of pocket to address the defect, the company told NHTSA.
“The owner letter will instruct vehicle owners who have paid to have this condition remedied prior to this campaign to seek reimbursement pursuant to Toyota’s General Reimbursement Plan,” Toyota said in the defect notice.
California Toyota Owners: Know Your Lemon Law Rights
These kinds of recalls have become all too routine for Toyota and other major vehicle manufacturers.
Late last year, for example, Toyota announced it was calling back some 168,000 vehicles across models, including Toyota Tundra and Tundra Hybrid pickup trucks. It told NHTSA that the vehicles were at risk of fuel leaks that could cause fires.
Around the same time, Toyota announced the recall of some 20,000 pickup trucks that were shipped to dealers with incorrect load-carrying capacity modification labels. “A vehicle which is loaded beyond its load-carrying capacity may have an increased risk of a crash,” the company told NHTSA.
The good news for Toyota and other car owners in California is that you do not need to wait for a recall to get a defective vehicle fixed. The state’s lemon law gives you some valuable rights and protections.
Known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the law generally requires auto manufacturers to do a wide range of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces the companies to buy back vehicles that they are unable or flat-out refuse to repair. That means compensating the owner for the vehicle’s purchase price, as well as financing charges, rental car costs and other related expenses.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.