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Faulty Seat Belt Forces Toyota To Recall 2.9 Million SUVs Across Markets

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Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. is battling problems with its vehicles once again. Toyota has been forced to recall nearly 2.87 million sport utility vehicles (SUVs) worldwide due to faulty seat belts.

On Thursday, Toyota revealed that it was issuing a global recall of 2.87 million SUVs as a possibility exists that in the event of a crash, the vehicles' seat belts may be susceptible to damage from a metal seat frame. The models that Toyota is recalling are the 2006-2012 RAV4 and the 2012-2014 RAV4 EV.

"The involved vehicles are equipped with lap-shoulder seat belts in both second-row outboard seats. There is a possibility that, in the event of a very severe frontal crash, the lap belt webbing could contact a portion of the metal seat cushion frame, become cut, and separate. If this occurs, the seat belt may not properly restrain the occupant, which could increase the risk of injury," notes Toyota.

To address the safety issue, Toyota has said that it will be adding resin covers to the seat's cushion frame in all affected vehicles. This will safeguard against any pieces of metal cutting into a seat belt if a crash occurs.

The carmaker has taken this step after two reported incidents in which the rear seat belts of the car separated after a crash. Toyota has said that it is unable to ascertain if these instances can be linked to any fatalities or injuries.

As a result of the reports, Toyota had to initiate a recall of the affected vehicles worldwide. The global recall covers 1.3 million cars in North America, 625,000 in Europe, 177,000 in Japan, 434,000 in China and 307,000 in other countries.

Toyota has said that it will be alerting the affected vehicle owners through fist class mail. The carmaker's dealers will be responsible for covering the metal seat frame with the resin covers and the service will be done free of charge, according to Toyota.

To access information on open safety recalls, customers can enter their Vehicle Identification Number or VIN at the following sites:

www.toyota.com/recall

www.safercar.gov

Photo: Daniel Chew | Flickr

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