Toyota Motor Corporation is issuing a vehicle defect recall for 803,000 vehicles in the United States for electrical problems that could prevent airbags from deploying in the event of a crash. According to MSN.com, the recall covers 2012 and 2013 Camry sedans and hybrids, the full-size Avalon sedan and hybrid and the Venza crossover. According to Toyota, the recall was prompted by a potential short circuit that could cause the airbag warning lights to turn on. In some cases, the airbags may become disabled and may not deploy in an accident. The glitch could also cause the airbags to deploy inadvertently.
Electrical Glitch Affects Airbags
Officials say the problem is due to water leaking from the air conditioning condenser unit onto the airbag control module. The leak could also result in additional problems, potentially causing a short circuit that would disable the power-steering system. This could make it difficult for the driver to turn a vehicle especially at lower speeds. When the recall begins, the automaker will directly notify vehicle owners and dealers will make repairs at no charge. The fix involves the application of a sealant and a new cover to prevent the water from leaking onto the airbag control module.
Recent Toyota Recalls
Toyota has faced a significant number of recalls in recent years including several actions related to the sudden or unintended acceleration issues where vehicles raced out of control. More than 10 million vehicles have been recalled over the last four years. Last, week, a California jury ruled in Toyota’s favor in a critical case that could influence how the other sudden acceleration lawsuits move forward. Toyota has also paid out several billion dollars to settle lawsuits related to the problem. In September, the Japanese automaker recalled luxury and hybrid models for safety defects.
Auto Product Liability Issues
The airbag defects described in the most recent recall can result in serious if not fatal injuries. The electrical problem in these vehicles could cause the airbags to not deploy. They may also cause the airbags to deploy suddenly or inadvertently. Both scenarios are dangerous for vehicle occupants. When an airbag fails to deploy, the vehicle’s occupants do not have that extra layer of protection in the event of a crash. When an airbag deploys suddenly or without reason, the driver could crash the car.
Anyone who has been injured by these or other auto safety defects would be well advised to contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer who has had an excellent track record against large automakers. If you have been involved in a crash, it is also important that you preserve the vehicle for a thorough inspection by an expert who can examine it for defects, malfunctions and other evidence.