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Toyota recalls FJ Cruiser

Cruiser call-back: Retro-styled FJ Cruiser faces airbag issues.

Faulty side airbags lead to safety recall for all Toyota FJ Cruisers sold Down Under

5 Jul 2011

TOYOTA has recalled every FJ Cruiser it has sold in Australia due to a faulty sensor that could render the Hummer-mimicking SUV’s side and curtain airbags useless.

Launched in March as the second all-new Toyota model aimed at generating enthusiasm for the brand in Australia – following the similarly boxy but smaller Corolla-based Rukus - the previous-generation Prado-based off-roader’s design harks back to Toyota’s landmark 1960-1984 FJ40 LandCruiser.

In a vehicle safety recall notice issued on June 29, however, Toyota said that as part of a global action it will recall 454 FJ Cruisers in Australia to fix side and curtain airbag sensors that were fitted the wrong way round.

“In the SRS side airbag and curtain shield airbag system of the involved vehicles, due to the incorrect side airbag sensor polarity, the G-force threshold to detect a side impact may be incorrectly set to the improper direction,” said Toyota’s recall notice.

“In the event of a side collision, there is a possibility that impact detection may be slightly delayed and the SRS side airbag and curtain shield airbag may not operate as intended.”

8 center imageToyota said no incidents or injuries have been reported in relation to the defect in Australia and that it would contact all FJ Cruiser owners by mail in July, asking them to make an appointment with their preferred Toyota dealer for free-of-charge repair work.

The recall affects all versions of the $45,000 FJ Cruiser – Toyota Australia’s fifth SUV - produced between November 1, 2010 and May 18, 2011.

In a separate recall notice issued the same day, Toyota recalled 17 examples of the previous-generation Lexus RX400h hybrid built between August 1 and 7, 2006 to fix potentially inadequate solders within the hybrid drive system’s inverter that could stop the vehicle running.

“In the worst case, the power supply fuse may open-circuit, resulting in the hybrid system stopping whilst the vehicle is being driven,” said Toyota’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recall notice.

“The inverter assembly is part of the hybrid system. The transistors on the control boards located inside the inverter assembly in some of the involved vehicles were inadequately soldered and could be damaged by heat that occurs from large current flows that are typical under high-load driving conditions.

“If this occurs, various warning lamps will be illuminated on the instrument panel and in most instances the vehicle will enter a fail-safe driving mode, resulting in reduced power.”

As usual, Toyota advises owners of all affected vehicles to contact an authorised Lexus dealership for inspection and rectification.

Last week’s recalls bring the number of Toyota recalls this year to four, including 493 examples of the 2001-2003 Prius to rectify a potential electric power steering problem and 4844 examples of the Lexus IS250 to fix a potential fuel leak.

The Japanese giant’s Australian subsidiary escaped the majority of recalls that led to more than 10 million Toyota vehicles being called back globally last year, but still posted nine local safety recall notices in 2010 – the same number it issued in 2005 and 2006.

Apart from 1999, when Australia’s top-selling vehicle brand issued 18 separate recalls for the HiLux Surf, the biggest year on record for Toyota recalls is 2004, when the issued 16 separate recalls were issued for Toyota vehicles.

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