Toyota Motor Sales, USA, has announced the recall of certain 2009 Camry and certain 2009 to 2011 Venza vehicles to replace a stop lamp switch. Approximately 70,500 Camry and 116,000 Venza vehicles are covered by this stop-lamp switch recall. In addition, Toyota says this recall will also affect "certain 2005 to early 2009 Tacoma vehicles to replace the steering wheel spiral cable assembly. Approximately 495,000 Tacoma vehicles are covered by that recall. Both recalls are due to safety concerns.
The stop lamp switch doesn’t sound like a complicated problem, but on one of the North American assembly lines "silicon grease may have reached the inside of the stop lamp switch and caused an increase in electrical resistance." If this has occurred, "warning lamps on the vehicle’s instrument panel may be illuminated, the vehicle may not start, or the shift lever may not shift from the ‘Park’ position. In some cases, the vehicle stop lamps may become inoperative."
For the stop-lamp recall, Toyota will be acquiring the replacement parts and notifying owners by mail when the necessary replacement parts are available, requesting owners make an appointment at their dealers. Toyota says this repair will be performed at no charge to owners.
The steering wheel spiral cable fix is more complicated in the Tacoma, where friction between the spiral cable and the retainer in the steering wheel spiral cable assembly may occur in some vehicles. "Friction over time may result in loss of connectivity to the driver’s air bag module, causing the air bag warning lamp on the instrument panel [to] remain illuminated after starting the vehicle" which could cause the driver’s air bag to be deactivated, preventing deployment in the event of a crash. Again, Toyota is obtaining the necessary replacement parts and will advise vehicle owners by mail when the repair parts are available on or about April 2012. The announcement did not say whether this repair would be performed at no charge to vehicle owners.
Thus far, only vehicles in the North American marketplace are involved in this recall. Toyota says it is aware of no accidents or injuries caused by these defects. More detailed information is available to Toyota owners and consumers at http://www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.