The last three years have been tough on Toyota Motor Corporation. Multiple reports of unintended acceleration led the Japanese car company to recall nearly 12 million vehicles from 2009-2011.
Toyota also saw its market share shrink as well, falling from first to fourth in global sales during the same time period. And now, the automaker is voluntarily recalling nearly 700,000 cars and trucks in 2012.
First up, Toyota is recalling 495,470 Tacoma trucks manufactured from 2005-2009 for potential problems with the steering wheel airbag. The spiral cable assembly in the steering wheels, which powers the driver’s steering wheel mounted airbag can become damaged through vibrations. If damage occurs, the air bag may become deactivated, and fail to deploy in a crash.
The second recall involves approximately 70,500 Camry and 116,000 Venza models, made from 2009 to 2011. Toyota says during production, silicone grease may have inadvertently come into contact with the stop lamp switch.
The grease may result in continual illumination of the brake lights, the inability to start or shift the car out of park, or in the worse case, make the car’s brake lights inoperative, meaning drivers behind wouldn’t know that the Camry or Venza were slowing or stopping, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.
“Toyota is committed to the highest standards for quality, safety, reliability, and customer satisfaction,” said Brian Lyons, Safety and Quality Communications Manager.
If you own any of the affected models, Toyota will automatically notify you in April, and the company will rectify either issue free of charge. The company says customers should plan on the repairs requiring 30 minutes to complete.
Owners can contact Toyota now with concerns at 1-800-331-4331. Reference NHTSA Campaign ID Number 12V092000 for Tacoma models, and NHTSA Campaign ID Number 12V091000 for Camry or Venza models.