Toyota Airbag Recall: Water Damage Caused by Spiders to Blame
In yet another massive vehicle involving a major automaker, Toyota has announced a recall of more than 880,000 of its vehicles because of a problem with a part in the vehicles’ air conditioning unit that could result in either no deployment or an unnecessary deployment of the airbags. Approximately 803,000 of these vehicles were sold in the United States.
In an unusual twist, however, this time, the problem may be caused by spiders, whose webs at times have managed to block a drainage tube coming from the air conditioner’s condenser. That can result in water dripping onto the airbag’s control module, which can result in a short circuit that can lead the dashboard warning light to go on for no reason. Worse, in some cases, the condition has caused the airbags to not deploy at all or to deploy at great force when it’s not needed. This is also possible with the driver’s side airbag.
In some cases, according to Toyota, this problem can also cause a communication line in the airbag control module to become damaged, leading the power steering unit to stop working, requiring the driver to work harder to steer the vehicle.
The recall applies to Camrys, Venzas and Avalons from model years 2012 and 2013. The recall also covers the hybrid versions of those models. To date, Toyota has been able to confirm reports of at least 35 instances in which warning lights came on, as well as three airbag deployments. While they won’t claim spider webs have been the cause of every failure, it is the only consistent cause they have found in their investigations.
Perhaps strangely, this is not the first time a car maker has been forced to recall some of its vehicles because of spiders, although this is by far the largest spider-related recall to date. In 2011, Mazda recalled more than 50,000 Mazda 6 cars for a problem caused by spider webs in gas tank vent lines.
To fix the current problem, Toyota dealers will install a new part to cover the air conditioner’s condenser, and apply a sealant for good measure. Those affected by the recall will be notified by mail, and the repair will be free.
If you receive a recall notice, follow the instructions and have the problem repaired immediately. But if you own one of these vehicles, and an airbag either didn’t deploy during an accident, or deployed at the wrong time, leading to injury to you or a loved one, contact the experienced Texas Automotive Defect Attorney at Hill Law Firm as quickly as possible, so that you can protect your rights.