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Toyota RAV4 recalled over seatbelt fault

Safety first: The Toyota RAV4 recall impacts close to 100,000 vehicles and relates to the third-generation version built between August 2005 and November 2012.

Nearly 100,000 Toyota RAV4 recalled in Australia to fix rear seatbelt defect

19 Feb 2016

TOYOTA Australia has announced a safety recall of about 98,000 RAV4 crossovers due to a fault with rear seatbelts that may not properly restrain occupants in a crash.

The recall affects the third-generation RAV4 built between August 2005 and November 2012 and is part of a wider global recall that has scooped up about 2.87 million examples of the popular SUV.

A statement from the Japanese car-maker says that the potential issue relates to both outboard seatbelts in the second row and is due to the “shape of the metal seat cushion frame”.

“There is a possibility that, in the event of a high-speed frontal collision, the seatbelt webbing could contact a portion of the metal seat cushion frame, become cut and separate,” the statement read.

In this situation, the seatbelt “may not properly restrain the occupant, which could increase the risk of injury to the occupant”.

While the company's Australian arm said there have been no reported accidents or injuries here, it follows reports of an injury to a passenger in the United States and a fatality in Canada, although Bloomberg has reported that Toyota has been unable to to confirm whether they were connected with the defect.

Impacted owners in Australia will be contacted by mail advising of the recall and Toyota says when the parts are available – likely by June this year given the scale of the recall – they will be contacted again to arrange remedial work at an authorised Toyota dealer.

The fix involves adding resin protection covers to the metal seat cushion frames, will take approximately one hour at no cost to the customer.

Toyota New Zealand will recall 9436 RAV4s for the same issue, although the build dates are between 2005 and 2014.

About 1.33 million vehicles are affected in North America, 625,000 in Europe and 434,000 in China.

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