Toyota Australia has issued an urgent bulletin advising dealers to stop deliveries of the Yaris Hybrid and Yaris Cross Hybrid due to a safety concern with the hybrid system that could cause the vehicle to stop suddenly.
The hybrid recall affects approximately 1300 vehicles that have either already been delivered to customers or are in showroom stock waiting to be sold.
A second recall – involving 2300 Toyota Yaris Cross models, both petrol and hybrid – has been implemented for a possible rear seatbelt failure.
Under the headline "Urgent Field Action Notice, Safety Related Recall Campaign", the bulletin says: “Toyota has determined that a requirement exists for the initiation of a safety-related recall” for a range of “Yaris Hybrid and Yaris Cross Hybrid vehicles sold in Australia”.
The bulletin continues: “Within the hybrid transmission … an improper application of anti-corrosion oil on the transmission damper may cause abnormal slippage during rapid acceleration.”
Toyota says this could trigger a warning light which could “subsequently, potentially cause the hybrid system to stop”.
Toyota says there have been 20 reported incidents locally where a warning light has been activated, but not sudden stalling.
The affected models were manufactured from October 2019 to September 2020. A remedy has been implemented on models manufactured since.
CarAdvice has been told the repair is costly and time-consuming and will require the engine to be removed, in order to access the affected part. As with all warranty claims, customers will not be charged for the recall work.
Some experts estimate the repair is at least a two-day job and expect many customers will be without their car for days.
A statement from Toyota says: "It is expected that it will take approximately 8.5 hours to replace the input damper. However, depending upon the dealer's work schedule, it may be necessary for the owner to make the vehicle available for a longer period of time."
It is unclear whether Toyota will provide free loan cars for owners of affected vehicles however, under Australian Consumer Law, customers are entitled to alternative transport while their cars are being repaired if they’re off the road for an extended period.
Toyota says customers can continue driving affected models until they can schedule an appointment for the recall work, however if a warning light comes on, Toyota has advised customers to contact their dealers.
In a separate recall, certain Toyota Yaris Cross models are being called back to dealers to have their rear centre seatbelts replaced.
All 2300 Toyota Yaris Cross models made from April to October 2020 are being recalled because "there is a possibility that the seatbelt may be damaged by the sharp edge of the metal seatbelt anchor bracket during the impact of a collision, due to improper manufacturing of the bracket. If this were to occur, in the worst case, the seatbelt may be broken and not properly restrain the occupant."
The Toyota Yaris and Toyota Yaris Cross are completely new models from the ground up and have been on sale in Australia for less than six months.
Both vehicles are made in Japan and come with the latest safety and technology features, and are the only hybrid vehicles in their respective classes.
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