Toyota Recalls 130,000 Tundras

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This is a complicated one, folks. Toyota is recalling all 2003 – 2005 model year Tundra pickups due to a federal regulation regarding airbag deployment and child safety seat use. The Tundra has a cutoff switch that turns off the front passenger side airbag if an adult isn’t in the seat, meaning it also shouldn’t deploy if a child seat is in place. However, NHTSA also requires a safety anchoring system for the child seat, which the Tundras in question don’t have.

The confusion is apparently due to the timing of the new regulations, but Toyota has decided that instead of installing the costlier safety anchoring system it will simply deactivate the cutoff switch, so the passenger airbag will always deploy. That means no child seat should ever be placed in the front seat.

Airbags cause a lot of injuries to children in car crashes, but we’re wondering why Toyota would bother with such a huge recall — it could cost $16 million — and not do the bigger fix. 2006 Tundras already have the cutoff switch deactivated, and there’s no word on what the all-new 2007 Tundra will feature in this regard. Toyota reports no customer complaints or injuries due to the problem.

Toyota will send out recall notices in September, and owners should contact their dealership about scheduling the service.

[Toyota to recall Tundra air bags, DetroitNews]

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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