Thousands of relatively new vehicles are affected.
Automakers may develop reputations for being particularly well-versed in certain areas of car development, but they are not always perfect. Toyota has built itself a reputation based on reliability, and has backed this up by placing well in studies such as those performed by J.D. Power or Consumer Reports. Nonetheless, Toyota has had to issue two separate recalls that will effect thousands of relatively new Toyota vehicles.
The first victims are certain 2019 model year Sienna minivans, although only approximately 270 vehicles are expected to be affected by this recall. The recall relates to the airbag system sensor, with the problem arising on vehicles where a component in the passenger side front doors was not welded properly during the manufacturing process. This mistake can seriously affect the airbag system sensor, potentially causing the passenger side front seat and curtain shield airbags to fail to deploy or to be deployed inadvertently.
The airbag not deploying could increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash, whereas the airbag deploying inadvertently might not only injure the passenger but could cause the driver to crash. Toyota will notify owners whose vehicles are affected by mid-June and will replace the passenger side front door sub-assembly for free.
The second recall involves certain 2015-2017 model year Yaris Liftback and Hatchbacks. Unlike the tiny Sienna recall, this fix is expected to affect approximately 43,000 vehicles. The culprit of the recall are wire harnesses which connect the side airbag sensors found in each of the front doors to the airbag control unit.
Over time, the wire harnesses can corrode, leading the airbag warning light to be activated. Furthermore, the front seat side airbags and curtain shield airbags could be deactivated or have difficulty deploying properly in the event of a crash, seriously increasing the risk of injury. Affected Yaris owners will know by mid-June and the wire harnesses will be replaced for no cost.