Toyota will recall approximately 681,500 Camry, Tacoma and Venza model cars amid safety concerns.
Approximately 70,500 2009 Camry vehicles and 116,000 Venzas are subject to the recall to replace the stop lamp switch, while roughly 495,000 Tacomas are subject to recall to replace the steering wheel spiral cable assembly, the Japanese carmaker said Wednesday.
We want our customers to know that their vehicles are being recalled, a Toyota spokesperson said.
Stop lamp switches in some 2009 Camries and Venzas made in 2009 to 2011 may have been damaged during production on one of Toyota's North American assembly lines when silicon grease came in contact with inside of the switch, causing an increase in electrical resistance.
Warning lamps on the instrument panel may be illuminated, the vehicle may not start, or the shift lever may not shift from the 'Park' position. In some cases, the vehicle stop lamps may become inoperative, said a Toyota press release describing the problems affected Camry and Venza vehicles may experience.
Toyota has received reports of 170 Camries and Venzas being unable to shift from the 'Park' position, and eight experiencing inoperative brake lights thus far.
Toyota is also recalling approximately 495,000 2005 to 2009 Tacomas to replaced failed steering wheel spiral cable assemblies. Failure of the steering wheel spiral cable causes the air bag warning light to be displayed on the instrument panel and may deactivate the driver's air bag.
Failure of the steering wheel spiral cable in the Tacoma is caused by friction between the cable and the retainer in the steering wheel spiral cable assembly, which over time can cause a loss of connectivity to the driver's air bag.
Toyota has received 162 cases of illuminated air bag warning lights.
The issue with the Camry and Venza models initially came to Toyota's attention in June to August 2010 through a Canadian field technical report, a report discussing a technical issue filed with the company by Toyota engineers. Two further field technical reports were later filed in U.S. markets.
In the case of the Tacoma, however, many of the vehicles were already out of warranty, and so the discovery was a product of customer complaints. Toyota began its investigation of air bag warning light activation in the Tacoma in March through October 2011.
The latest recalls follow other high profile recalls for Toyota. In 2010, Toyota recalled over 8 million cars for issues relating to their gas-pedals, CNN Money reported.