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Auto blogSat, 16 Mar 2013 10:58:00 EST
Toyota has announced that it will be issuing a substantial recall of the FJ Cruiser for a problem that could cause the front seatbelt retractors to separate from the vehicle body. This recall will apply to all FJ Cruisers - from 2007 through 2013 - totaling around 209,000 units.
The problem stems from the FJ Cruiser's pillarless door opening design that has the front-occupant seatbelts attached to the rear doors. Toyota says that when the rear doors are "repeatedly and forcefully closed," the retractor could completely separate from the door frame.
While there is no information about this recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration yet, Toyota says that there have been no accidents or injuries associated with this issue. No specific fix or recall date are given, but the official press release is posted below.
PickupTrucks.com has taken another look at the sales of its favorite vehicle bodystyle as part of an ongoing series. According to registration data from R.L. Polk, the Toyota Tacoma easily took the crown as America's best-selling mid-sized pickup, with 133,477 units rolling into new homes in 2012. For comparison, the second-place Nissan Frontier only saw 50,566 registrations.
We feel compelled to point out that before Ford pulled the plug on its ancient Ranger, the company was moving some 75,000 units per year. That number had shriveled to 15,662 by 2012, which was still enough to surpass the Honda Ridgeline. Interestingly enough, one person brought home a brand-new Hummer H3T as well. But mid-sized trucks represent only a fraction of total pickup sales. Dealers sold a total of 241,471 midsizers last year compared to 988,326 half-tons.
That segment was dominated by General Motors with 533,814 sales followed by Ford at 478,204. Ram Trucks trailed behind in third with 241,204 units with Toyota close behind at 229,769. Nissan, meanwhile, remains a distant fifth. Head over to PickupTrucks.com for a closer look at the breakdown in each segment.
General Motors has confirmed to Autoblog that the Pontiac Vibe is included in Toyota's just-announced recall action. The Vibe and the Toyota Matrix share a large number of parts, including the affected cable to the airbag.
"About 40,500 Pontiac Vibes from the 2009-2010 model years are included in the Toyota recall. Toyota designed and engineered the Vibe for Pontiac. GM will service customers with these vehicles when Toyota makes the parts available," said GM recall spokesperson Alan Adler to Autoblog in an email.
The recall covers 1.3 million Toyota units in the US, including 2009-2010 Corolla, Matrix and Tacoma, the 2008-2010 Highlander, the 2006-2008 Rav4 and 2006-2010 Yaris, plus the addition of the 2009-2010 Vibe. The models all have their airbag module attached via a spiral electrical cable. The connections on this cable can be damaged when turning the steering wheel. Once broken, the airbag deactivates and the airbag warning light comes on. Toyota has an improved part, but it's still making preparations to begin repairs. It will begin notifying owners soon.