The 2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid unveiled at the New York International Auto Show Andrew Burton, Getty Images

Toyota Recalls Close to 3 Million Vehicles Over Seatbelt Defect

The company has received two reports where a crash occurred and the rear seatbelt was sliced, including a fatality in Canada and an injury to a U.S. driver.

TOKYO — Toyota will recall 2.87 million vehicles globally due to the possibility that their rear seatbelt could come apart in a crash and cause injuries, the company announced Thursday.

The recall involved Toyota’s RAV4 sports utility vehicle made between July 2005 and August 2014, RAV4 EVs produced between October 2005 and January 2016, and the Japanese-only Vanguard SUV produced between October 2005 and January 2016.

“There is a possibility that, in the event of a very severe frontal crash, the lap seatbelt belt webbing could contact a portion of the metal seat cushion frame and come off,” the company said in an e-mail. “If this occurs, the seatbelt may not properly restrain the occupant, which could increase the risk of injury.”

A company spokeswoman said Toyota had received two reports where a crash occurred and the rear seatbelt was sliced, including a fatality in Canada and an injury to a U.S. driver. But, she added, it was still unclear if the defect was to blame.

The recall includes 1.3 million vehicles in North America, as well as 625,000 vehicles in Europe, 434,000 vehicles in China, 177,000 in Japan and 307,000 in other regions.

Toyota said it would add resin covers to the vehicles’ metal seat cushion frames to prevent the seatbelt from being cut in a crash.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

TAGS: Operations
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