Toyota has announced that it is recalling as many as 2.9 million vehicles in the U.S to fix a potentially deadly safety issue. In a press release issued on its website on January 21, the company revealed that it had identified a potential defect with an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that is used to receive signals from crash sensors located on the affected vehicles.
According to CBS News, these defective ECUs are affected by a specific type of electrical noise that typically occurs during a crash. The units do not have adequate protection against this issue and as a result, this could impede the ability to detect a crash and deploy the air bags in time. Toyota added that the defect could also result in the seatbelt pre-tensioner functionality being compromised. This could lead to an increased risk of injury in the event of a crash, the company stressed.
As a measure to mitigate the problem, all 2.9 million vehicles that could be potentially impacted shall be examined. Cars that are found to be affected shall be equipped with a new noise filter between the air bag control unit and its wire harness. The filter shall only be installed post-examination at a Toyota workshop.
Toyota has assured that the new filter shall be provided to owners at no cost. The automaker shall also notify owners of each of the affected cars via first-class mail. The company expects to complete this process by mid-March.
Vehicles that are affected by the recall include some Toyota Corolla models sold between 2011-2019, Matrix models sold between 2011 and 2013, Avalon cars sold between 2012 and 2018, and Avalon Hybrid models that were sold between 2013 and 2018.
While Toyota shall individually inform every owner potentially impacted by the move, customers can also visit its recalls portal or the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) portal to check if their vehicle is a part of the exercise. On the website, customers need to enter their Vehicle Identification Number or license plate information, and they shall be presented with all the relevant details.
Incidentally, this is the second instance of the Japanese company being involved in a nationwide recall over safety issues in the past few months. In December, The Inquisitr had reported about Toyota vehicles being part of another recall involving air bags manufactured by Takata Corporation. In that instance, cars made by other manufacturers, including BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi Motors, and Volkswagen-owned Audi, were also part of a nationwide product recall that affected more than 1.4 million vehicles.