Toyota Recalls 729,000 Vehicles in U.S., Canada

Potential problems exist with driver's airbag in Tacoma trucks and a switch in Camrys and Venzas.

Toyota said Wednesday it was recalling nearly 730,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada to fix potential problems with the driver's airbag and a switch that can prevent vehicles from starting.

Toyota said it is not aware of "any accidents or injuries caused by these two conditions" and added that the affected models were not distributed outside North America.

The faulty cable recall affects 495,000 Tacoma trucks in the United States and 17,178 in Canada with model years of 2005 to 2009.

"Due to the combination of steering wheel spiral cable design and characteristics unique to the Tacoma chassis, friction between the spiral cable and the retainer in the steering wheel spiral cable assembly may occur in some vehicles," Toyota said in a statement.

"Friction over time may result in loss of connectivity to the driver's air bag module. If connectivity is lost, the air bag warning lamp on the instrument panel will remain illuminated after starting the vehicle and the driver's air bag may be deactivated, preventing deployment in the event of a crash."

The stop lamp recall affects 70,500 Camry and 116,000 Venza vehicles in the United States along with 2,740 Camry vehicles and 27,737 Venzas with models years 2009 through 2011.

"During installation of the contact-type stop lamp switch on one of the North American assembly lines, silicon grease may have reached the inside of the switch and caused an increase in electrical resistance," Toyota said.

"If this occurs, warning lamps on the instrument panel may be illuminated, the vehicle may not start, or the shift lever may not shift from the 'Park' position. In some cases, the vehicle stop lamps may become inoperative."

Toyota said it was in the process of obtaining the necessary parts and would notify owners when they become available. Repairs will be conducted at no charge.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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