Toyota Announces Voluntary Recall

Automaker will replace defective brake-light switch bracket on some new Siennas.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. yesterday said it will conduct a voluntary safety recall for approximately 94,000 model-year-2011 Siennas to replace the brake-light switch bracket.

"Due to the proximity of the stop-lamp [brake-light] switch bracket to the parking brake pedal when the parking brake is fully applied, the stop-lamp switch bracket could, in limited circumstances, be deformed by the driver's foot during parking brake operation," Toyota said in a press release. "Depending on the amount of bracket deformation, this condition could cause the brake lights to remain on or, if the deformation is significant, the brakes could become partially engaged due to contact from the bracket, resulting in brake drag with associated brake noise, brake vibration and/or illumination of the brake warning light.

"If this condition is not noticed and the vehicle continues to be driven, braking effectiveness could be reduced."

No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in the recall, and Toyota is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the defect, the automaker said.

Beginning in January, Toyota will send an interim notification to Sienna owners affected by the recall. The notification will include instructions on what to do if Sienna owners experience braking problems due to the defect and how to minimize the possibility of inadvertently contacting the stop-lamp switch bracket while operating the parking brake.

Toyota also will post the information on its website.

The automaker said it will send a second notice in late February, once replacement parts become available, asking Sienna owners to make an appointment with any Toyota dealer to fix the defect at no charge.

Toyota dealers will replace the bracket assembly, which includes the stop-lamp switch bracket, with a new one that has been redesigned to take into account the proximity of the component to the parking brake pedal, the automaker said.

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