Toyota Motor is recalling about 690,000 Tacoma pickup trucks. The automaker told NHTSA on September 29th that faulty rear suspension systems could cause fuel tank leaks and potentially lead to fires. Toyota said the three to four leaf springs in the rear suspension systems for the affected vehicles — Tacoma 4×4 and Tacoma Pre-Runner pickup trucks from model years 2005 to 2011 — could fracture due to stress and corrosion. Toyota said in a statement:
If this occurs and the vehicle continues to be operated, the broken leaf could move out of position and contact surrounding components, including the fuel tank. If the broken leaf contacts the fuel tank repeatedly, it could puncture the tank and cause a fuel leak.
Obviously, a fuel leak near an ignition source could result in a fire and that makes this a most serious problem. Toyota says it doesn’t know of any fires — or crashes, injuries or fatalities — associated with the defect.
In addition to another Toyota recall mentioned below, on Sept. 11th, the company said it would recall about 130,000 Tundra Crew-Max Cab and Double Cab vehicles because a possible installation problem could cause airbags to improperly deploy. Toyota has already recalled over 7 million vehicles this year involving various safety-related defects.
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