Serious vehicle recalls continue to roll out. In April 2014, Toyota Motors announced recalls that affect more than six million vehicles worldwide.
In late March, Toyota agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle criminal allegations brought against the automobile manufacturer by the U.S. Justice Department. Toyota hoped the fine — a result of a four-year investigation into its “shameful” behavior over car defects — would give the company a fresh start on a better reputation. But the recent recall raises real questions about the safety of Toyota vehicles.
In two recalls announced on the same day, Toyota identified the following safety issues:
- Occurring in Yaris and Scion-xD vehicles — Certain model years of the Yaris and Scion car manufactured between 2006 and 2010 may have defective seat rail assemblies. The assembly contains a spring that allows adjustment of the driver and passenger seats. If the defective spring breaks, the seats may not remain stable during an accident.
- Occurring in Corolla, Highlander, Tacoma, RAV4, Matrix and Yaris vehicles — In defective vehicles, the airbag module could be affected by its bundled position within the steering assembly. Steering could damage electrical connections, potentially deactivating the airbag warning lamp and the airbags if a collision occurs.
Quality control is a big issue for several car manufacturers. General Motors (GM) continues to receive backlash for knowing of — and at first concealing — a deadly ignition switch defect. At present, GM is the subject of more than 60 class action lawsuits and investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
If your car is part of a recall, get the vehicle repaired immediately.