TORRANCE, Calif. — Toyota recalled more than 300,000 RAV4 and Highlander vehicles Thursday so that it can fix an issue related to their airbags.
The recall includes about 214,000 RAV4s from 2007 and 2008 and approximately 94,000 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles from 2008. All of the vehicles involved were sold in the U.S. The recall does not include any other Lexus or Toyota vehicles.
Over the past year and a half Toyota has wrestled with numerous recalls covering a wide range of defects, including faulty floor mats, sticky gas pedals and glitches in braking software, ballooning to more than 14 million vehicles globally.
The company paid the U.S. government a record $48.8 million in fines for its handling of three recalls. Toyota faces dozens of lawsuits from owners in the U.S., including fatalities allegedly linked to defects.
Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. said Thursday that the air bag sensor assembly in the RAV 4 and Highland vehicles has two sensors that are designed to detect vehicle roll angle. The malfunction of a single sensor will result in a warning light coming on and the roll detection system will be suspended.
If both sensors fail at about the same time after an initial air bag system check, the seat belt pretensioner and the curtain shield air bag may be inadvertently activated.
Toyota dealers will replace the sensor assembly with a new one at no charge.
Owners of the affected vehicles will receive a recall notification letter in the mail next month. Recall information will also be available on the company’s web site.