The 2008 Toyota Tacoma pickup

Toyota recalls 495,000 Tacoma pickups for airbag risks

Toyota Motor Co has announced a recall of select Toyota Tacoma pickups over a concern that an internal component of the steering wheel assembly could malfunction and, in the worst case scenario, cause the airbag not to deploy in the event of an accident.

This Toyota Tacoma recall pertains to certain 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and early 2009 model year pickups with a total number of roughly 495,000 possibly affected by this recall. The culprit behind this Tacoma recall is the steering wheel spiral cable which is also commonly known in the auto industry as a clock spring. Due to the design of the spiral wheel cable and “characteristics unique to the Tacoma chassis”, there may be friction between the cable and the retaining portion of the steering wheel assembly. Over time, this friction can cause the cable to become disconnected from the airbag assembly which will lead to the air bag lamp lighting up on the dash and in the case of an accident – the airbag might not open.

The type of recall hitting the 2005-2009 Toyota Tacoma has become fairly common with “clock spring” issues related to the airbag system hitting a variety of automakers in the US over the past decade. The good news with a clock spring (aka a Toyota steering wheel spiral cable assembly) problem is that when they fail, there is no immediate danger to the driver or passengers. This situation generally brings about an air bag warning light so the driver/owner of the 495,000 recalled Tacoma pickups should know that there is a problem as soon as one is present. Considering that an air bag warning light generally indicates that the air bag may me malfunctioning, it is wise to always look into why the light is lit in any vehicle but those Tacoma owners who are experiencing this problem – you are about to get it fixed for free.

Toyota is in the process of gathering the parts needed to fit the problem and once they have a sufficient number of parts, they will contact the owners of the 2005-2009 Tacoma pickup and ask them to return to their neighborhood Toyota dealership, while also explaining the recall and telling the owners what to do if they experience any conditions of the failure. Toyota expects the recall to formally begin in April 2012 and owners can expect to wait for about 30 minutes for the actual repair to take place. Owners who want to know more can contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

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