Toyota recalled nearly three million RAV4 sport utility vehicles worldwide. This recall includes 1.33 million units in North America, 625,000 in Europe, 434 in China, and 177,000 in Japan. Uncovering a defect in the rear seatbelts resulted in the automaker’s recall. In the event of a frontal collision, the seatbelts could be damaged or completely severed, leaving passengers unprotected. The automaker said in an email that the lap-shoulder seatbelts in the vehicles’ second-row seats could come into contact with the metal seat cushion frame causing it to cut off. “There is a possibility that, in the event of a high-speed frontal collision, the seatbelt webbing could contact a portion of the metal cushion frame, become cut and separate,” stated the company. “If this occurs, the seatbelt may not properly restrain the occupant, which could increase the risk of injury to the occupant.”
The world’s largest automaker said they have received two accident reports out of North America involving rear seatbelt separation. One of the accidents was fatal. Toyota said that, at the moment, a determination could not be made in regards to whether the death or injuries are linked to the defect.
After careful investigation, Toyota stated the problem was traced to the original design of the metal seat-cushion frames. The automaker made the point that the seatbelts themselves were safe and the supplier wasn’t the cause of the problem. Toyota said they would add resin covers to the metal seat cushion frames on any affected vehicles.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a recalled vehicle, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.