Toyota has announced a voluntary recall of about 342,000 of its Tacoma pickup trucks. The recall affects the 2004 to 2011 Access Cab models with a small door to the rear passenger compartment. Toyota has issued the recall because of a flaw in the seat belts.
The screws that attach part of the seat belts to the mechanism that retracts the belts can come loose if the rear door is closed repeatedly and forcefully. If that happens, the belts may not work properly for the driver or front passenger. Improperly functioning front seat belts could affect the technology’s ability to protect the driver and front passenger in a crash.
The Center for Disease Control reports that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among those ages 5-34. Adult seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) research indicates that seat belt use in the United States has been on a steady incline for years; however, in more than one-half of all fatal car crashes, victims were not property restrained. An improperly functioning seat belt can lead to a driver or passenger not being properly restrained.
Toyota plans to notify owners of the vehicles affected by the recall and will instruct their dealers to fix the problem, free of charge.