Patrick Rall's picture

Toyota recalls 308,000 SUVs for airbag risks

Toyota has announced a new voluntary recall of 308,000 SUVs from the 2007-2008 model years over fears of airbags either not working in the event of certain accidents or, in the worst case scenario, opening without reason.

This new Toyota recall affects 214,000 RAV4 models and 94,000 Highlander/ Highlander HV models from the 2007 and 2007 model years with the recall involving the Curtain Shield Airbag Sensor Assembly. In these vehicles equipped with side curtain airbags, there is a pair of sensors that measure roll angle and when those measurements go out of proper parameters, the side curtain airbags are triggered. These 308,000 vehicles are all found in the North American market, as these sensors are not used in other markets.

Unfortunately, it seems that these sensors are failing, which causes the airbag light on the gauge cluster to illuminate. That means that in the event of a rollover accident, the airbag may not open and in the worst case scenario, the airbag could open without a rollover and without an impact – although Toyota points out that this can only happen if both sensors malfunction at the exact same time. That seems like an unlikely event but the fact that Toyota is issuing a recall and made a point of mentioning it means that it is possible. Toyota also points out that in the event of a single-sensor failure, the side curtain airbags WILL still function in the event of a side impact collision.

Toyota will begin notifying owners of the 308,000 recalled RAV4 and Highlander SUVs affected by this new recall next month, asking them to return to their local dealership to have the Curtain Shield Airbag Sensor Assembly checked and replaced if necessary.

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