Toyota is set to recall about 43,000 Yaris models to replace defective sensors that may prevent the cars’ side-impact airbags from deploying during a crash. According to Car Complaints, the automaker will also separately recall 240 Sienna minivans to address a welding flaw that might also prevent the vans’ airbags from going off. The larger recall affects 2015 through 2017 Toyota Yaris hatchbacks.
Problems with Airbag Sensors
At fault is a wiring harness in the cars’ doors that may degrade and fail to inform the airbag control in the event of a crash. The airbags themselves are located in the front seats and in the headliner. The first signal of failure will likely be an airbag warning light illuminated on the dashboard. The 2015-2017 Yaris models are among the affected vehicles. When the recall begins, dealers will inspect both wiring harnesses for the side airbag sensors.
Production records for the specific vehicle will determine whether one or both wiring harnesses should be replaced. Owners should receive notification regarding the recall no later than mid-June. With the 2019 Sienna minivans, the recall addresses a potential welding flaw, which is said to have occurred when the vans were assembled.
The bad weld may affect an airbag system sensor, which controls the passenger-side seat-mounted and curtain airbags. In the worst-case scenario, the airbags might not deploy in the event of a crash, or they may deploy without any warning. The 240 minivans will receive new passenger-side front door sub-assemblies at no charge. Notifications to customers for these vehicles are also expected to go out mid-June.
When Airbags Fail to Deploy
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week announced a major investigation involving 12.3 million vehicles manufactured by Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Kia, Toyota and Mitsubishi. Agency investigators are looking into whether electrical interference from nearby wiring can cause the airbag control unit to fail. This means the airbags may not deploy as they should during a crash. It’s possible that the crashes are sending harmful electrical signals though sensor wiring that damages the control units. In such cases, both driver- and passenger-side airbags can fail to deploy.
When airbags fail to deploy, vehicle occupants could suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a faulty airbag that fails to deploy, you may be able to seek compensation from the automaker and/or the manufacturer of the airbag. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.