Toyota, already troubled with the 24 million Takata car airbag recall, is now issuing a recall in nearly 3 million sports utility vehicles over another safety issue. Toyota crash studies have shown that in serious accidents the seat belts of the second row seat could come in contact with the seat’s metal frame and be severed, resulting in a failure to restrain any passengers against momentum.
The recall reportedly will span across the globe. The recalls numbers are 1.3 million cars in North America, 625,000 in Europe, 434,000 in China, 177,000 in Japan, and 307,000 in other regions. The primary affected models are the RAV4 SUVs from 2005-2014, and the RAV4 Electric sold from 2005-2016. Japan also had an exclusive Vanguard model that was also affected, sold from the same years as the Electric.
For no charge, Toyota will now be adding a cover to the metal frame to prevent the belts from being cut. The suppliers of the seat belts are said to be not at fault, and the blame lies in the car design itself. This poses a separate risk to Toyota, as the SUV is quickly becoming popular and was suspected of overtaking sales of their most famous car, the Camry. The Takata airbag recalled also affected this model of car, shedding unflattering light that may impact the model’s sales.
The automakers did not comment on whether or not fatalities were prompting the recall, but there were 2 incidents in North America where a Toyota car’s seat belts were severed.