It's been a few months since the last big Toyota recall, so it probably comes as no surprise to some of you that Toyota has issued recalls a grand total of 681,000 Camry, Venza and Tacoma vehicles.
The smaller portion of the recall involves 70,500 model year 2009 Camrys, and 116,000 Venzas from 2009 to 2011.
During installation of the contact-type stop lamp switch on one of the North American assembly lines, silicon grease may have reached the inside of the switch and caused an increase in electrical resistance. If this occurs, warning lamps on the instrument panel may be illuminated, the vehicle may not start, or the shift lever may not shift from the "Park" position. In some cases, the vehicle stop lamps may become inoperative.
Once Toyota has all the parts needed to make the fix, notify affected owners by first class mail. The car company says it should only take about 30 minutes for the fix to be made and it will be done at no charge.
The much larger slice of this recall pie belongs to the 495,000 Tacoma trucks from model years 2005 to early 2009. These vehicles are being recalled to replace the steering wheel spiral cable assembly:
Due to the combination of steering wheel spiral cable design and characteristics unique to the Tacoma chassis, friction between the spiral cable and the retainer in the steering wheel spiral cable assembly may occur in some vehicles. Friction over time may result in loss of connectivity to the driver's air bag module. If connectivity is lost, the air bag warning lamp on the instrument panel will remain illuminated after starting the vehicle and the driver's air bag may be deactivated, preventing deployment in the event of a crash.
Toyota hopes to alert affected Tacoma owners in early April. Once again, the fix should only require about 30 minutes and will be done gratis at the Toyota dealeship.
If you feel like talking to Toyota on the phone, call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.