2009 Toyota Corolla

UPDATE: The text below has been amended to include new details provided by Toyota.

It looks like 2014 may go down as the year of recalls. We were already at a record pace, and now it seems Toyota is recalling 6.39 million vehicles worldwide, including about 30 of its models for a variety of problems. None of the faults have caused any injuries or fatalities, but there have been two reports of fires caused by a defective engine starter motor.

Toyota's numbers show 1.772 million vehicles being recalled in the US, but that includes some overlap because the Yaris is being repaired for multiple faults. According to The Detroit News, there are 2.36 million affected models in all of north North America, 1.09 million in Japan and 810,000 in Europe, plus smaller numbers in other regions. Toyota tells us that there are 6.76-million faults to repair in total, with those problems spread out over the aforementioned 6.39-million units.

Among the vehicles recalled in the US are 1.3 million units of the 2009-2010 Corolla, Matrix and Tacoma, the 2008-2010 Highlander, the 2006-2008 RAV4 and 2006-2010 Yaris. The problem is that the driver's airbag module is attached via a spiral electrical cable. The connections on the cable can be damaged when the steering wheel is turned, which could deactivate the airbag and cause the airbag warning light to come on. Toyota is replacing the cable with an improved part, but it's still making preparations to begin the repair. The company is sending affected owners notifications in the mail. According to The Detroit News, an unspecified number of Pontiac Vibe vehicles are also included in this recall because it shares the part with the Matrix.

A second US recall affects about 472,500 2006-2010 Yaris hatchbacks, 2007-2010 Yaris sedans and 2008-2010 Scion xD models. The seat rails on the driver's seat and for hatchback models on the front passenger seat as well have faulty springs to lock the seat to the mechanism, especially if the seats are adjusted often. If a spring brakes, the seat may not lock the seat into position, which could increase injury in a crash.

Worldwide, the spiral connector recall affects 3.5-million vehicles and the seat lock issue 2.32-million units.

Toyota will replace the seat track assembly on affected cars, but the parts are not in place yet. It will contact owners when repairs begin, but for now, Toyota spokesperson John Hanson tells Autoblog, "We are stepping it up and fixing it as quickly as possible."

Outside of the US, models are being recalled to repair a bracket holding the steering column, fix the windshield wiper motor and correct a starter motor that could cause fires.

Below you'll find press releases from Toyota in reference to all of the recalls of US cars.
Show full PR text
Toyota Announces Safety Recall of Certain Vehicles for Spiral Cable Assembly

April 09, 2014
TORRANCE, Calif., April 9, 2014 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 1.3 million vehicles, including certain Model Year 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2008-2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 Tacoma, 2006-2008 RAV4 and 2006-2010 Yaris vehicles.

The driver's airbag module in the involved vehicles is attached to a spiral cable assembly with electrical connections that could become damaged when the steering wheel is turned. If this occurs, the air bag warning lamp will illuminate. In addition, the driver's air bag could become deactivated, causing it to not deploy in the event of a crash.

Toyota is not aware of any injuries or fatalities caused by this condition.

Toyota is currently preparing the remedy for this condition. For all involved vehicles, a Toyota dealer will replace the spiral cable with an improved one. Once preparations are complete, Toyota will send an owner notification letter by first class mail and the remedy will be provided at no charge.

Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall, the Toyota Customer Experience at 1 800-331-4331, www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987).

Toyota Announces Recall of Certain Yaris and Scion xD Vehicles

April 09, 2014
TORRANCE, Calif., April 9, 2014 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today announced that it will conduct a safety recall involving approximately 472,500 vehicles consisting of certain Model Year 2006-2010 Yaris Hatchback vehicles (approximately 158,000); certain Model Year 2007-2010 Yaris Sedan vehicles (approximately 250,500); and certain Model Year 2008-2010 Scion xD vehicles (approximately 64,000).

In the seat rail of the driver seat of the involved vehicles and also the front passenger seat of three-door models, the springs used for the mechanism which lock the seat rail in its adjusting positions could break. This can happen if the seat is adjusted forward and/or rearward with high frequency. If a seat rail spring breaks, the seat may not lock into the adjusted position. If the vehicle is operated with a broken seat rail spring, the seat could move in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury to the occupant.

If the condition is present, an occupant may notice the following:
If both of the springs have broken, the seat will not lock into the adjusted position.
In limited instances, if a spring has broken and becomes stuck in the seat rail, the seat may only be capable of forward movement.
Toyota is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by this condition.

Toyota is currently preparing the remedy. Once preparations are complete, owners of vehicles subject to this safety recall will receive an owner notification letter by first class mail.

The remedy, when available, will involve replacement of the seat track assembly at no charge to the customer.

Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall, the Toyota Customer Experience at 1 800-331-4331, www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987).