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Recall belts 6000 Toyota FJ Cruisers

Wrong door: The discovery that seatbelts attached to the rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors of the Toyota FJ Cruiser may detach in a collision has prompted a recall.

Potential seatbelt issue grounds all Toyota FJ Cruisers sold in Australia

Toyota logo4 Apr 2013

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

TOYOTA Australia has recalled all 6000 FJ Cruiser SUVs imported to this country over a potential seatbelt issue, as part of a worldwide campaign affecting around 310,000 vehicles.

The recall work involves inspection and strengthening of the inner panels of the rear doors, around the lower seatbelt retractors.

Due to the FJ Cruiser’s rear-hinged ‘suicide’ door design and subsequent lack of a traditional B-pillar, the front seatbelts are attached to the rear doors.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recalls website describes the potential for cracks to develop “in the lower inner panel of the rear car doors (around the B-pillar) where the front seatbelt retractor is anchored”.

“If the cracks occur in the panel, the seatbelt retractor could become detached in a collision.

“If the defect occurs, the front seatbelts may not function as designed, presenting a serious risk of injury to the occupants in the event of a collision.”

The number of affected vehicles in Australia includes the 5577 registered since its launch in March 2011 to the end of March this year plus all unregistered cars held in stock.

Toyota Australia media and external affairs manager Beck Angel told GoAuto all vehicles, including those in stock or awaiting delivery to customers, would be inspected for cracks and have the strengthening work carried out as a matter of course.

“Those vehicles that are in stock or any customer orders, we will do that (work) before it gets to the customer,” she said.

“We want to make sure we have remedied the problem before we give (the car) to them, which will be happening this month.

“From a customer point of view it means they don’t have to bring it back later and make another appointment.”

Existing customers will be contacted by letter, inviting them to make an appointment with their Toyota dealer for inspection and repair, with work starting in the middle of this month.

In July 2011 Toyota recalled all FJ Cruisers sold in Australia over sensors that were fitted the wrong way around, potentially affecting the operation of side and curtain airbags.

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