A look at this week’s top recalls and consumer product safety information.
Toyota recalling 6.4M vehicles worldwide
Toyota Motor Corp, in its second-largest recall announcement, said on Wednesday it would call back 6.39 million vehicles globally after uncovering five different faults involving parts ranging from steering to seats.
The world’s biggest automaker said it was not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the glitches, which were found in 27 Toyota models including the RAV4 and Yaris subcompact. Toyota said faults were also found in the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia, two models the automaker built for General Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries.
Toyota said some 3.5 million vehicles were being recalled to replace a spiral cable that could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned. That could cause the air bag to fail in the event of a crash, the automaker said.
In the second-largest of the Toyota recalls, some 2.32 million three-door models made between January 2005 and August 2010 are being recalled to check for a fault in the seat rails that could cause the seat to slide forward in a crash, risking injury for the driver or passengers. The other recalls are for faulty steering column brackets, windshield wiper motors and engine starters.
The move by Toyota to announce five different recalls on a single day from Tokyo comes as major automakers face increasing scrutiny on how quickly they take preventive safety action and how quickly they share information with regulators and the public.
Toyota agreed last month to pay $1.2 billion to the U.S. government for withholding information related to unintended acceleration in its vehicles. That safety crisis had caused Toyota to recall more than 9 million vehicles.
Spiders prompt Mazda recall … yes, spiders
For the second time in three years, Mazda Motor Corp has issued a recall for Mazda6 sedans in North America because of a spider that likes the smell of gasoline and weaves a web that blocks a vent in the engine. Mazda is recalling 42,000 sedans with 2.5-liter engines from model years 2010 to 2012 in the United States. Mazda officials were not immediately available to report recalls outside of the United States.
Three years ago, Mazda recalled about 65,000 Mazda6 sedans in North America from model years 2009 and 2010, also because of spider webs blocking evaporative canister vent lines. The same issue is the cause of the most recent recall, Mazda told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The web weaved by a spider can lead to a restriction of fuel flow, which in turn can reduce fuel tank pressure when the emission control system purges vapors from the evaporative canister. This can put stress on the fuel tank, which may crack and leak fuel, increasing the risk of a fire, a report filed with NHTSA says.
Mazda will inform owners in the recall campaign to bring cars to dealers, where the evaporative canister vent line will be checked and cleared if necessary. Also, the dealerships will reprogram software.
Buckle problems prompt Evenflo carseat recall
Evenflo announced the recall of more than 1.3 million child safety seats to fix a problematic buckle. models Momentum 65 (including LX and DLX), Chase (including LX, DLX, and Select), Maestro (including Performance), Symphony (including 65, LX, 65 E3, and DLX), Snugli All-In-One, Snugli Booster, Titan 65, SureRide DLX, and Secure Kid (including LX, DLX, 100, 300, and 400).
The affected seats have model number prefixes of 306, 308, 310, 329, 345, 346, 371 or 385. The defect involves difficulty in unlatching the harness buckle. In the convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats, the buckle may become stuck in a latched condition so that it cannot be opened by depressing the buckle’s release button.
The company said it would contact consumers this month to provide repair information.