Toyota Recalls 2.8 Million RAV4 SUVs Because Seatbelts Shouldn’t Separate

The purpose of a seatbelt is to secure a person riding in a car to prevent injury in the event of an accident. But the safety devices may not work as intended in nearly three million Toyota SUVs now being recalled. 

Worldwide, Toyota is recalling some 2.8 million RAV4 vehicles, including 1.1 million here in the U.S. According to Toyota’s announcement, the recall affects model year 2006-2012 RAV4s and model years 2012 through 2014 for the RAV4 EV.

Toyota says that in the event of a severe frontal crash, the lap belt webbing could contact a portion of the metal seat cushion frame in the second-row outboard seats, become cut and separate.

If separation occurs, the seatbelt may not properly restrain the occupant, increasing the risk of injury. The company says that the issue is not related to the production of the seatbelt itself, but the metal seat cushion.

The New York Times reports that the recall, which has not yet posted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, was initiated after seatbelt separation was suspected in two crashes, one of which killed a passenger in Canada.

Toyota says that it can’t confirm whether the seatbelt failure caused the fatality, but that it would recall the vehicles as a precaution.

Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified of the recall and dealers will fix the problem by adding resin covers to the metal seat-cushion frames.

[via The New York Times]

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