Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are announcing an equipment safety recall on the Japanese automaker's 2008 Highlanders and Highlander Hybrid models.

On the 2008 model year crossover, the optional stainless steel exhaust tip retention clamp apparently has a manufacturing defect that can cause it to develop microscopic cracks, and in the worst case, fall off. We're not entirely clear on why this warrants a full-blown safety recall (perhaps to avoid the possibility of road debris), but in any case, NHTSA reports that ten incidents have been filed and the recall is moving forward. Overall, only 39,100 clamps are suspected to be flawed, but Toyota is notifying all 121,000 Highlander owners in case they bought the add-on exhaust finisher at their local dealer's parts counter.

You can read the full press release after the jump, and contact your dealer for an inspection and fix if necessary.

[Source: Toyota]


PRESS RELEASE

Toyota Announces Equipment Safety Recall on Select Vehicles

TORRANCE, Calif., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. will launch an Equipment Safety Recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) involving approximately 39,100 Toyota Stainless Steel Exhaust Tip retention Clamps. This optional accessory was designed specifically for 2008 model year Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles sold in the United States.

Due to improper heat treatment, the original clamp used to secure the stainless steel exhaust tip to the exhaust pipe may develop microscopic cracks. If this occurs, the crack may expand causing the clamp to break and in the worst case the exhaust tip may fall off.

There are approximately 39,100 accessory kits that may be affected by this condition. Because this accessory is installed at the Toyota vehicle processing centers and dealers, and is available over-the-counter, all of approximately 121,000 vehicle owners will be notified.

There have been ten reported incidents of this condition in the United States; no other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in this recall.

Toyota will inform owners of the involved vehicles with a Safety Recall notification via first-class mail beginning in early May. The notification will include inspection instructions for owners to determine if their vehicle is equipped with this accessory. Affected owners are requested to contact their local Toyota dealer for inspection and repair.

Customers with questions or concerns should contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.