The roll-sensing curtain shield airbag system contains two sensors that detects roll angle. In the event that one of the sensors malfunctions, the airbag warning light illuminates. That means the side-curtain airbags won't work in a roll-over, though the airbags would still be available in the event of a side collision. If both sensors fail "near simultaneously," however, the seat belt pretensioner and, more importantly, the curtain shield airbag could inadvertantly be activated.
Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail in the next month. Once customers have been notified, they will be able to take their RAV4 or Highlander to the nearest Toyota dealer for a free repair. Follow the jump to read Toyota's official announcement.
TORRANCE, Calif., April 21, 2011 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced that it intends to conduct a voluntary Safety Recall involving certain 2007 through 2008 model year RAV4 and certain 2008 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles sold in the United States to replace the airbag sensor assembly. There are approximately 214,000 RAV4 vehicles and approximately 94,000 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles covered by this Safety Recall.
In the roll sensing curtain shield airbag system of the subject vehicles, there are two sensors in the airbag sensor assembly which are designed to detect vehicle roll angle. If one of these sensors malfunctions, the airbag warning light (malfunction indicator light) will illuminate and the roll detection system will be suspended; however, the airbag remains available in the event of a side collision. If both sensors fail nearly simultaneously after initial airbag system check, the seat belt pretensioner and the curtain shield airbag could be inadvertently activated.
No other Lexus or Toyota vehicles are involved in this recall and this condition involves only vehicles sold in the North American market; vehicles sold in other markets are not equipped with this roll sensing curtain shield airbag system.
Owners of the involved vehicles will receive an interim notification letter advising them of this recall by first class mail in May 2011. Toyota will also post this information on its website. Toyota dealers will replace the roll sensing sensor assembly with a new one at no cost to the customer.