Toyota Tundra Recall Issued Over Risk of Electrical Fire From Defective Headlights

More than 158,000 Toyota Tundra pickup trucks are being recalled due to a risk the halogen headlights may catch on fire, posing a risk of vehicle damage and injury for occupants. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Toyota Tundra recall on September 9, following reports of electrical connectors overheating and catching fire.

According to the recall notice, a defect in the headlight electrical circuits can result in power being sent to both the high and low beam headlights at the same time, which could result in the electrical connector overheating. The bulbs can fail when the filaments are powered for too long, which could also result in a fire, Toyota and the NHTSA warn.

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The lights may overheat when the pickup truck is either idled or going too slow, since the design require air for the lamps to cool. The NHTSA and Toyota have received at least 18 field reports and 37 warranty reports involving the headlight problems. At least nine Tundra vehicles have reportedly caught on fire, according to those reports.

Toyota received its first field report in April 2020, indicating a thermal issue with the headlamp, but the damage did not go past the headlamp. By October 2020, Toyota had received multiple field reports warning of the same issues of inoperative bulbs and melted headlamp connectors. Toyota tested the issue and found that, after 30 minutes of idling, the high beams would exceed the designed temperature limits.

In January 2021, Toyota says it was able to identify the issue with the suppliers and conducted additional testing on the headlamps. From April 2021 to August 2021, Toyota proceeded with more testing and came to the conclusion that there was a fire hazard and Toyota decided to recall the vehicles out of an abundance of caution with the safety campaign.

The recall impacts an estimated 158,489 Toyota Tundra vehicles from model years 2018-2021, which were manufactured between June 6, 2017 and March 24, 2021.

Toyota indicates it plans to replace the faulty wiring free of charge for those with Tundra trucks that have halogen lamps. Tundra trucks without Halogen lamps do not qualify for the recall.

Toyota will contact the owners of affected vehicles by mail starting in October. Vehicle owners can also contact Toyota directly at 800-331-4331. Owners can also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.

The campaign number provided by the NHTSA is 21V688. Toyota’s campaign numbers for the recall are 21TB06 and 21TA06.

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