Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. said Thursday it’s recalling about 130,000 2014 Tundra pickup trucks to check an interior trim component that could block the proper deployment of side-curtain airbags. The so-called center pillar garnish – the plastic interior side trim between the front and rear doors from where the front seat belts emerge -- might have been improperly installed, preventing “the airbag to achieve its intended inflated shape,” the company said.
No injuries have been reported, but Toyota will soon send out letters to owners asking them to take their cars to the nearest Toyota dealership so a mechanic can make sure the component is properly affixed. The recall notice is voluntary. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has yet to announce the safety recall on its site. The recall affects the Crew-Max Cab and Double Cab trucks with back row seats.
In July, the NHTSA announced a recall of 2013 and 2014 Toyota Tundra trucks that had been modified by Houston-based Gulf States Toyota Inc., the world’s second-largest Toyota franchise that operates in five southern states, including Oklahoma and Texas. That recall happened because the wheels of some Tundra pickups could break off while the car is in motion. The lug nuts of the affected vehicles need to be replaced.
The Tijuana-factory-assembled Tacoma, which was released in the U.S. in 1995 as a more upscale version of its globally popular and pared-down Hilux, is one of two Toyota pickup trucks sold in the U.S. Tacoma sales are down nearly 7 percent so far this year compared to last year, to 102,736 units, according to comapny data. Sales have declined largely because the Tacoma has not seen a significant redesign since 2005 when the second-generation of the small truck was released.