Despite having been around for decades, vehicle airbags are not infallible or immune to manufacturing defects. There was the massive and ongoing Takata airbag recall, and automaker continue issuing recall actions to correct or prevent failures of airbag sensor systems. Toyota is the latest, as its most recent action involves around 1.1 million vehicles from between 2020 and 2022 for malfunctioning airbag sensors.
The recall includes:
· 2020-2021 Toyota Avalon and Avalon Hybrid
· 2020-2022 Camry and Camry Hybrid
· 2020-2021 Corolla
· 2020-2021 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid
· 2020-2021 RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid
· 2021 Sienna Hybrid
· 2021 Lexus ES 250
· 2020-2022 ES 300h
· 2020-2021 ES 350
· 2020-2021 RX 350 and RX 450h
The problem stems from the airbag’s Occupant Classification System, which is a system of sensors in the front seats that tell the airbag how to deploy based on the weight of the person sitting in the seat. The sensors in affected Toyota models may have been improperly manufactured, “causing a short circuit.” The automaker said that the failure “would not allow the airbag system to properly classify the occupant’s weight, and the airbag may not deploy as designed in certain crashes, increasing the risk of injury.”
Toyota is not the first and won’t be the last automaker to recall vehicles for issues with their occupant classification systems. Last year, GM recalled several SUVs for the same problem, and several years before that, Nissan recalled vehicles to replace some sensors in select vehicles.
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