D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 8, 2021

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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.

Of course, while it was officially blamed on faulty floor mats, there is speculation drivers who complained were simply covering for bad driving. The same thing happened when BMW had the same controversy. Some of it could be a certain amount of public hysteria.

Toyota also saw its market share shrink as well, falling from first to fourth in global sales during the same time period. Now, the automaker is voluntarily recalling nearly 700,000 cars and trucks in 2012.

Which Cars Are Affected by Toyota’s Latest Recall?

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.

Other recent recalls have involved Tundras with weak axles leading to tires coming off while drivers were on the road. While we expect recalls from time to time, Toyota has been pushed to take a long hard look at the way they’re doing business.

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What Changes Has Toyota Made in Light of Recent Recalls?

“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. The company will rectify either issue free of charge. The company says customers should plan on the repairs requiring 30 minutes to complete. If you have already been affected by related issues, you can be reimbursed with proof of bills and repairs.

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.

How Does This Affect Auto Insurance on Toyotas?

Insurance companies have to consider a wide range of factors. But recalls don’t typically have as big an effect on your rates as you might think. Experienced drivers who qualify for lower rates will often know how to handle crises on the road. These issues are also relatively rare. So even if some models have faulty airbags, it doesn’t impact the average buyer. A well executed safety recall can fix the issue before it truly becomes a liability.

If you want to see if you have the right insurance for your needs, put your zip code in our calculator and answer a few questions. Then see what low rates are available to you.