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Unusual Recall Issued by Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC

Unusual Recall Issued by Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC

By Jeff Youngs, January 30, 2013
In the Southeastern part of the United States, Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) distributes all Scion and Toyota vehicles, parts and accessories to dealerships in the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. According to SET, it sells approximately 20% of all new Toyotas in the United States and ships $1.7 million in parts to its network of 173 independent dealerships.

During vehicle processing at SET's facilities in Jacksonville, Florida, vehicles are often fitted with aftermarket parts and accessories prior to shipment to dealerships. Included among these upgrades are leather seat coverings, seat heaters, and embedded front-seat head restraint entertainment screens. When such installations involve the front passenger seat, SET is required to test the occupant sensing system calibration following accessory installation to ensure proper deployment of the front passenger frontal-impact air bag.

SET is recalling 3,235 vehicles processed by its facility between 2009 and 2013 because the occupant sensing system calibration test may not have been performed, increasing the possibility that the front passenger frontal-impact air bag may not function as expected in a crash. Potential problems include an air bag that might not deploy, or an air bag that might deploy with too much force for the size and weight of the seat occupant. Either situation can increase the risk of injury to the seat's occupant.

To remedy the situation, SET will notify affected owners, who will then take their vehicle to a local dealership to have the occupant sensing system calibration tested and recalibrated as necessary. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall campaign ID number for this action is 13V014000 and vehicle owners with questions can contact SET directly at 1-800-301-6859.

Numerous models are affected by this recall, including (in alphabetical order):

2009-2012 Toyota 4Runner
2009-2010 Toyota Avalon
2009-2012 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid
2010-2013 Toyota Corolla
2009-2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser
2009-2013 Toyota Highlander
2009-2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
2009-2012 Toyota Prius
2012 Toyota Prius v
2009-2012 Toyota RAV4
2010-2012 Toyota Sequoia
2010-2013 Toyota Sienna
2009-2012 Toyota Tacoma
2010-2013 Toyota Tundra
2010-2013 Toyota Venza

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