Toyota is recalling 90,189 2008 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid vehicles equipped with a third-row seat to correct a faulty seatbelt component. In its summary of the problem, the NHTSA says there is a concern that the seatbelt webbing could spool out during normal driving maneuvers, “which could affect the stability of a child restraint installed at those seating positions.” This could “discourage the use of a child restraint, and in the event of a crash, the child may not be adequately protected, possibly resulting in injury.”
NHTSA said the automatic locking retractor on the seatbelts in the third row deactivates before the webbing is fully retracted, so that it will not lock when certain rear-facing child restraint systems that have a short seatbelt routing path are installed in the vehicle. Toyota dealers will install a newly designed seatbelt component free of charge. At press time, the automaker had not provided NHTSA with an owner notification schedule for the recall. Owners can contact Toyota at (800) 331-4331.
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