On Thursday, Toyota Motor Corp. confirmed plans to recall the Highlander SUVs over an issue that could cause the front bumper to loosen. The vast majority of the impacted models are parked inside the United States with additional recalls planned for Canada and Mexico.
The manufacturer stated that the recall only affects 2020-2023 model year Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid vehicles — adding that it estimates there are about 751,000 units that need to be dealt with in the U.S.
Problems reportedly stem from the resin front lower bumper cover assembly, which is connected with mounting tabs. Apparently, there is a chance that minor impacts to the lower front bumper cover assembly could cause the mounting tabs to detach from the vehicle. Toyota is worried about possible detachments creating problems for drivers. However, the worst case seems to entail someone running over their own front bumper. But losing car parts on an active roadway can also create opportunities for other drivers to panic and crash.
Toyota plans to have dealers inspect the vehicles’ upper and lower bumper cover mounting tabs (and slots) for signs of damage. Assuming nothing appears to be wrong with either, service centers will install new retention hardware the automaker said is of an improved design.
For vehicles that do show signs of damage, Toyota said it will be replacing the relevant parts before moving onto the new retention hardware. As with all recalls, the work will be conducted free of charge to customers.
Toyota said it plans to notify the affected owners about this issue by late December 2023. However, concerned parties that don’t want to wait to see if their Highlander was one of the models impacted can call the Toyota Brand Engagement Center (1-800-331-4331).
The recall campaign will also be available via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall website. However, customers will need to have their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) handy.
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