Toyota Tacoma Recall Issued Over Loose Seat Belt Screws

Defective seat belts have led to the recall of more than 340,000 Toyota Tacoma trucks, which could place drivers and passengers at greater risk of injury in the event of an auto accident.  

The Toyota Tacoma Access Cab recall was announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on August 7, affecting vehicles from the 2005 to 2011 model years.

According to Toyota’s recall notice (PDF) the screws that attach the seat belt pre-tensioner to the seat belt retractor may become loose, potentially causing individuals not to be safely restrained inside the vehicle.

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Toyota began investigating the seat belt problem after several field reports from the U.S. and Canada. The company’s recall notice did not specify whether there have been any injuries or accidents caused by the loose seat belt screws, but indicates that the defect could increase the risk of injury in an accident.

The problem affects the driver and front passenger seat belts, but the assemblies are inside the rear doors. The screws can become loose due to repeated and forceful closings of the rear doors to the trucks.

The recall affects 342,451 model year 2005-2011 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab trucks manufactured from September 14, 2044 through September 7, 2011. Regular Cab and Double Cab vehicles are not affected by the recall.

Toyota says it will notify owners about the problem, and they will be able to get the seat belt assemblies inspected by a dealer, and if necessary, fixed or replaced. Toyota has not yet put out a notification schedule, according to the NHTSA. Owners with questions can contact Toyota at (800) 331-4331. They can also contact the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline by calling (888) 327-4236 or visit the NHTSA website

The Tacoma trucks have had problems with their safety equipment before. In March of last year, about half a million Tacoma trucks were recalled due to a problem with the airbags.

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