Airbags are a standard safety device that helps prevent and limit injuries for drivers and passengers in the event of a crash. That is, if they work.
Toyota is recalling some 280,000 Venza sport utility vehicles over malfunctioning side airbags, according to Consumer Reports. The company says damaged wires on the driver’s side could prevent side airbags from deploying.
The recall covers certain Venza SUVs from 2009 to 2015.
When wires rub against a grommet in the driver’s side door, they could wear and make the airbag sensor in the door inoperable. That may also cause an instrument warning light to illuminate.
“This may prevent the side airbag and curtain shield airbag on the driver side from deploying in certain types of collisions, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a crash necessitating the deployment of those airbags,” Toyota said in a defect notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The company says it will notify owners of recalled cars by early June.
“For all involved vehicles, Toyota dealers will inspect the driver-side front door wire harness and, if necessary, replace it with an improved one at no cost to customers,” it said in the notice.
Car Defects and Your California Lemon Law Rights
This is not the first time that Toyota has had to call back cars because of defects that put drivers and passengers at risk. Last year, the company recalled nearly 6 million vehicles over a fuel pump issue that the company said could cause cars to stall suddenly.
Toyota is not alone. The world’s largest automakers recall millions of vehicles every year. They often cite a wide range of defects that were apparently undetected until long after the cars were sold.
The good news for car owners and lessors in California is that they do not have to wait for a recall to get malfunctioning vehicles fixed. The California lemon law requires car manufacturers to repair vehicles while they are under warranty.
The law also requires manufacturers to buy back vehicles that a company will not or cannot fix. That includes compensating the owner for the purchase price, as well as financing costs and other related expenses. Although a manufacturer can instead offer to replace the vehicle, it is up to the owner to decide whether to accept this offer or demand a buyback instead.
How a California Lemon Law Attorney Can Help
Our attorneys understand the significant stress that can come with haggling with car dealers and manufacturers. Our lawyers work aggressively to resolve these cases for the people that we represent.