Toyota Recalling 870,000 Vehicles After Spiders Cause Air Bags To Deploy

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The Toyota emblem on a Camry, one of the cars being recalled because an air conditioner part could cause air bags to deploy unnecessarily.

 

First there was the Toyota MR2 Spyder, a small mid-engined sports car produced from 1984 to July 2007. And, now, in 2013, Toyota is having to recall many vehicles due to real, web-spinning spiders.

According to CNN Money, Toyota is recalling 870,000 vehicles because a problem with an air-conditioner part could cause airbags to deploy unnecessarily -- and you don't want that happening. The problem has been brought about, in some cases, by spiders.

Spider webs cause blockage in a drainage tube extending from the air conditioning condenser, which can make water drip onto an airbag control module, creating a short circuit, which could cause the airbag warning light to turn on -- and even cause the driver's side airbag to deploy, CNN Money notes. Toyota has said that in certain instances, there could also be a loss of power-steering force.

 

The vehicles involved are model year 2012 and 2013 Camrys, Venzas and Avalons, CNET reports, and hybrid versions of those vehicles are included.

Toyota knows of three airbag deployments as a result of this problem and 35 cases of warning lights turning on, Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight said.

In the cases Toyota has investigated, spider webs were the only consistent cause of the blockages. But Knight was unable to say if spider webs caused every incident. Spiders have been known to construct webs inside the tubes of cars. Two years ago, Mazda recalled 52,000 Mazda6 sedans for problems caused by spiders building webs inside a gas tank vent line.

To correct the current problem, Toyota dealers will make fixes to block water from dripping onto the airbag module. Owners will be notified by mail to bring their cars to a Toyota dealer, where service will be done at no charge.

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