The salt used in Nagoya, Toyota's home, is mostly in the soy sauce, not on the roads.
Japanese executives have allowed Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. to announce late this afternoon that it can recall approximately 600,000 first and second generation Sienna 2WD minivans sold in the United States to address “potential corrosion in the spare tire carrier cable.” This number doesn’t include more than 270,000 vans in Canada.
The safety defect may appear on 1998 through 2010 model year Sienna minivans that have been operated in cold climate areas tha use salt during the wonter to deice roads.
TMS, which does not have recall authority from its parent Japanese company, says that continued prolonged exposure to road salts may cause “excessive” corrosion of the carrier cable in some of these vehicles. In the worst case, the carrier cable may fail and the spare tire could become separated from the vehicle, a road hazard for following vehicles that increases the likelihood of a crash.
Toyota says it is now working to develop a remedy for the corrosion defect. Until the fix is found, customers will receive an interim notice instructing them to bring their vehicle to a dealership for a preliminary inspection. Customers will receive, eventually, a secondary notice advising them of the solution.
The defect finding without a solution was no doubt prompted by Toyota’s ongoing problems with U.S. safety regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is seeking the maximum civil penalty of $16.375 million against Toyota Motor Corporation for failing to notify the auto safety agency of what turns out to be a potentially fatal “sticky pedal” defect for at least four months. In response to my queries today, Toyota said it had “nothing to report” as to whether it will contest the fine. Criminal charges are possible. (more…)