Southeast Toyota Distributors, a separate entity from Toyota North America, is recalling 3,600 vehicles built for the 2009 to 2012 model year including Tacoma, 4Runner, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Prius, Prius V and RAV4. Other models affected by this recall include Avalon, FJ Cruiser, and Highlander Hybrid. Nearly all affected models were made for the 2009 and 2010 model years; certain Highlander and Venza models made between the 2009 and 2013 model year as well as select Sequoia models made between the 2010 and 2012 model year are also included.
The problem at hand stems from an occupant sensing system that wasn’t calibrated after accessories were installed. Unlike Toyota North America, Southeast Toyota Distributors buys vehicles directly from Japan and then modifies factory features to include leather seat covers, seat heaters, and DVD systems in the headrest. If the occupant sensing system isn’t calibrated after these accessories are installed, the system won’t deploy the passenger’s side front airbag in the event of a crash. There’s also a chance that the airbag may just deploy whenever it feels necessary, even if no collision has been detected.
To rectify the situation, Southeast Toyota Distributors will alert owners who will then take their affected vehicle to a local dealership to be tested. If necessary, dealers will recalibrate the occupant sensing system free of charge to the owner. The recall is slated to begin this month but concerned owners can contact Southeast Toyota Distributors directly at (800) 301-6859. You can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety hotline at (888) 327-4236 and reference campaign number 13V014000.