Toyota is recalling about 158,500 Tundra pickup trucks for an issue that could pose a potential fire risk involving their halogen headlamps.
According to a report on Cars.com, potential faults have been discovered in affected trucks from the 2018-2021 model years, produced between June 2017 and March 2021.
The problem could cause a blaze to break out under some conditions when the high beam headlights are in use.
Details of the Recall
The headlights allow the circuits for both the high and low-beam bulb filaments to be energized at the same time when the high beams are switched on. Under some conditions in the recalled vehicles, an overheating issue can emerge. If the high beams are repeatedly left on for an extended period while the truck is idling or driving at a low speed, there is a possibility that the bulb connector could overheat and can result in an increased risk of a fire that can spread to other parts of the vehicle.
When the recall begins, dealers will modify the engine wire harness assembly and inspect the headlight bulb connector, bulb, and headlight assembly. If a component is found to be damaged because of overheating, it will be replaced with a new one at no charge to consumers. Toyota has said it will notify owners by Nov. 1. For more questions, call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.
Why Vehicle Fires Are Dangerous
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), each year, between 2014 and 2016, an estimated 171,500 highway vehicle fires occurred nationwide resulting in an annual average of 345 deaths, 1,300 injuries, and $1.1 billion in property loss. These highway vehicle fires accounted for about 13% of fires responded to by fire departments across the country.
Statistics also show that a vast majority of vehicle fires – about 83% – occur in passenger vehicles. Also, 62% of highway vehicle fires and 36% of fatal highway vehicle fires originated in the engine, running gear, or the wheel area of the vehicle. Mechanical failure was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of highway vehicle fires (45%).
What Steps Can You Take?
There are a number of steps drivers and vehicle occupants can take if the vehicle they are in catches fire. First, pull over as quickly as it is safe to do so. Use your turn signal to make your way to a safe location off the road such as a breakdown lane or a rest stop. Once you have stopped, turn off the engine and get everyone out of the car. Move everyone at least 100 feet away from the burning car and well away from the traffic, and call 911.
If you have been injured in a vehicle fire caused by a defective part, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to offer you more information about pursuing your legal rights.