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by David Zalstein

Toyota has recalled more than six million vehicles around the world, including almost 300,000 in Australia, to fix five different issues affecting 27 models.

Said to impact 6.76 million vehicles globally – including the Pontiac Vibe and Subaru Trezia – Toyota said in a statement that taking duplicate recalls into consideration, the total recall figure is closer to 6.39 million vehicles.

Unaware of any related injuries or fatalities, the Japanese car maker said the recall issues range from faults with airbag-related spiral cables to seat rails and engine starters.

Locally, Toyota Australia is recalling approximately 179,000 current-generation HiLux utes and 118,600 previous-generation Yaris three- and five-door hatchbacks and sedans.

Affecting vehicles built between April 2004 and December 2009, the local division says the HiLux recall is due to a potential fault with the spiral cable – part of the supplementary restraint system (SRS) located between the steering wheel and steering column – that could result in the driver’s airbag not deploying in the event of an accident, “which may increase the risk of injury to the driver”.

Triggering the SRS airbag warning light to illuminate, Toyota Australia says the cable may become damaged “when the steering wheel is repeatedly turned”.

Toyota Yaris

Affecting vehicles built between June 2005 and May 2010, the Yaris recall stems from a seat rail fault that could result in seats not locking into position, meaning they could move in the event of an accident, potentially increasing injury risk.

Specifically tied to the locking spring of drivers’ seats, Toyota Australia says the fault may also affect the passenger seat of three-door Yaris models.

Claiming no reports of local injuries or accidents related to either recall, Toyota Australia stresses both recalls are a preventative measure.

All affected HiLux models will receive new spiral cable assemblies taking an estimated one hour to complete, while a replacement of the driver’s seat tracks in the affected Yaris models will take approximately one and a half to three hours. Front passenger seat tracks on three-door Yaris vehicles will also be replaced.

All repair work will be conducted at no cost to customers with Yaris owners to be contacted by mail in May and HiLux owners in July, due to parts availability.

Any concern should be directed to Toyota’s recall campaign helpline on 1800 643 242.

The latest recall follows the recall of almost two million Prius hybrids in February and approximately 7.4 million cars in October 2012. All remain shy, though, of the approximately nine million Toyota and Lexus vehicles recalled in 2009/2010 due to sliding floor mats and sticking accelerator pedals.




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