Toyota Recalls 600,000 Sienna Minivans

Recalls continue to mount for Toyota. This time, the automaker is recalling 600,000 Sienna minivans from the 1998 to 2010 model years because the cable that holds tight the spare tire can rust and break, allowing the tire to fall off the minivan and onto the road. Toyota says that it has no knowledge of injuries or accidents because of the defect. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received six complaints of spare tires falling off of Siennas.

The recall is for two-wheel-drive Siennas in 20 “cold-climate” states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia, and in the District of Columbia.

While the company has not yet decided on a fix, officials say they will be sending letters out to owners, letting them know that dealers will inspect the cable for them. If you have questions, you can call Toyota at (800) 331-4331.

In other Toyota news:

  • Toyota execs said Friday that they have been able to replicate what Consumer Reports discovered about the Lexus GX 460, namely that the stability control kicks in too late during a high-speed sharp turn.  The company still has no fix identified.
  • Congressional investigators say they will hold another House hearing into possible problems with Toyota electronics in May. Toyota execs said in a statement that they are “more than willing to meet with the committee and discuss the ongoing testing related to our electronic throttle control system, as well as the steps we are taking to improve our quality assurance processes. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and reliability of the vehicles our customers drive.''
  • Monday is the deadline for Toyota to either pay the $16.4 million fine imposed by the federal Department of Transportation or contest paying it. While the sum would not materially affect Toyota’s operations, paying the fine could leave the automaker in more legal liability in the hundreds of civil suits that it faces.

Toyota Recalls 600,000 Sienna Minivans (The Associated Press, via The New York Times)

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