Toyota has announced that it is recalling 450,000 2004-2011 Siennas for the same undercarriage rust problem it recalled the minivans back in 2010 after it was found that the splash protectors could fall off exposing the spare tire carrier under the vehicle to corrosion from road salt used to melt ice in winter. As a result, the tires could fall off.
In addition, the Japanese automaker is recalling 50,000 Highlander and Highlander hybrid SUVs manufactured between November 2013 and May 2014 because of a software glitch involving the front passenger airbags affecting detectors that determine when to fire them. According to a company spokesperson, “the affected vehicles assume the passenger is smaller than they actually are so the airbags may not deploy or deploy at slower speeds than necessary for larger people.”
Further recalls also involve 16,000 2013 Lexus GS 250 and 350 sedans from the same model year after it was determined that a manufacturing defect could cause the brakes to activate without warning and without turning on the brake lights.
Despite continuing high sales volume Toyota has been struggling to protect its reputation in the last 5 years, having had to pay $1.2 billion to settle US criminal charges involving a problem involving sticky accelerator problems blamed for dozens of fatalities and necessitating the recall of nearly 9 million vehicles globally in late 2009 and early 2010, not to mention a recall of 6.39 million vehicles for numerous other problems just last month.
For more information consumers can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888 327-4236.