Toyota Recalls 838,000 Minivans; Defective Door Can Open While Driving
Toyota Recalls Siennas Due to Faulty Doors
Toyota has already recalled tens of millions of vehicles in 2016, for issues with defective parking brakes, suspensions, and fuel tanks, and last week the company was forced to recall another 800,000—this time over faulty doors. The announcement involves more than 740,000 Sienna minivans in the U.S. and an additional 94,000 internationally. Concerns that the minivan’s back sliding door can pop open on its own volition while the vehicle is being driven, led the world’s largest automaker to participate in a recall that includes models 2011 to 2016. The new 2017 Sienna minivans have not been recalled to this point, despite the fact that the only upgrade in the latest edition was a new V6 engine.
Toyota Motor North America, Inc. released a statement that said “the door could open while driving,” but only “under certain limited conditions.” These “conditions,” which include disrupting the automatic door while it is operating, could cause the door’s motor to overload, disabling the fuse. According to Toyota, “If this occurs when the door latch is in an unlatched position,” things begin to get interesting for whomever is sitting in the backseat. Fortunately, at this time no injuries have been reported, but that is only publically.
“Toyota would like to refrain from commenting whether there were any injuries or crashes as a result of the safety flaw,” said a spokesperson from the Japanese automaker. But this proclamation has led authorities to ask additional questions, reporters to make speculations of related injuries, and a relentless series of “no comments” from Toyota’s press department.
Previous Toyota Recalls for 2016
Earlier this year, Toyota Motor Corporation recalled more than 23 million Lexus, Scion and Toyota vehicles worldwide because of the dangerous Takata airbag inflators (including some 2011 Sienna minivans). Takata’s defective airbag inflators have been linked to at least 16 deaths and many more injuries. In April, Toyota also recalled a small number of 2016 Sienna minivans over their faulty seatbelts and just last month they recalled 340,000 of their hybrid Prius sedans because of malfunctioning brakes.
In the official statement, Toyota admitted that they do not have a fix for the Sienna automatic door problem as of yet, but they are working on “developing a remedy.” Toyota said that the owners of affected Sienna minivans will be contacted in January 2017. In the meantime, drivers are being advised to use the Sienna’s sliding doors with caution, and if possible, to avoid seating any passengers in the backseat.
To see if your Toyota is affected by any recall see: http://www.toyota.com/recall
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