The Toyota Motor Corporation has announced a worldwide recall covering nearly one million vehicles for electrical defects that could prevent air bags from deploying in the event of an accident.
Filed through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall will cover 885,000 2012 and 2013 Camry and Avalon sedans and hybrids, and the Venza crossover, of which approximately 803,000 have been sold in the US.
According to Toyota, the defect stems from a water leakage in the air conditioning condenser unit onto the air bag control module, which could lead to an electrical short. This short circuiting could then cause a vehicle’s air bag warning light to illuminate, and in some cases fail to deploy in a collision. In rare cases, air bags could also deploy inadvertently, even without a frontal impact, potentially inflicting significant damages to the driver and front seat passenger.
The leakage was also found to cause other electrical problems, including shorting out the power steering system, making it significantly more difficult for a driver to turn their vehicle, especially at lower speeds.
To date, Toyota said that it is aware of only two minor injuries as a result of the electrical issues and no accidents. To remedy the defect, technicians will apply a sealant and a new cover to the air conditioning condenser unit to prevent water from leaking. Owners will be notified in the next few weeks, at which time they will be invited to take their vehicles to the nearest participating dealership for the free repairs.
The large scale recall brings Toyota’s recalled vehicle total to 1.5 million in the past month. In four of the last five years, the Japanese auto maker has led all others in vehicles recalled in the US, and is the heavy favorite to win the distinction again in 2013 thanks to persistent air bag issues, that have also plagued many other makers who share similar parts from the same third party manufacturer.
Nevertheless, Toyota is optimistic about its reputation for quality after being found not liable in the first wrongful death case taken to trial for issues of unintended acceleration. In an interview held last week, Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz said that he believes that the maker has already gone through the worst of its troubles, and is already selling at record highs, even as recalls continue to grow.
As a vehicle owner, it is important to respond to any recall notices that you receive. Recalls are announced when a regularly occurring defect is identified that has the potential to inflict harm or cause an accident. By ignoring repairs offered in a recall, you will only expose yourself to the threat of injury, even in otherwise normal driving conditions.
If you’ve been injured in an accident as a result of a vehicle defect not yet covered by a recall, you should look to the assistance of legal representation. Depending on the circumstances that led to your accident, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the cost of your injuries.
At AA Accident Attorneys, we know your legal rights, and will work hard to get you everything that you rightfully deserve. As always, we will not charge you for any of our services until your case is won. If we are unable to collect on your case then you will not owe us anything. For more information, or for a free evaluation to determine whether or not legal action is right for you, call us right away!