Spring is here and so is a long list of recalls from a variety of different major automakers. The most comprehensive recall on the list belongs to Toyota, which has called back 2.17 million automobiles in order to deal with the still open issue of floor mat gas pedal entrapment. An agreement with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) will see Toyota fix floor mat-related problems on a number of Lexus and Toyota automobiles. More than half of the models involved are Toyota sport-utility vehicles, including the 2003-2009 Toyota 4Runner, the 2004-2006 Toyota Highlander and the 2006-2010 Toyota RAV4. Rounding out the list are the 2006-2007 Lexus GS 300 and Lexus GS 350 AWD, the 2008-2011 Lexus LX 570 and the 2004-2007 Lexus RX series of crossovers.
Toyota is also on the hook for another, separate recall campaign issued this month. 22,000 editions of the Toyota FJ Cruiser, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Sequoia, Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra built between 2008 and 2011 have been found to feature faulty tire pressure monitoring systems. The NHTSA has declared that in the absence of accurate tire pressure readings, owners might be misled as to the actual inflation of the tires on these trucks and SUVs, which could possibly lead to a blowout while driving due to under-inflated rubber. Toyota's solution to the issue is to 'reinitialize' each system, although FJ Cruiser owners will see a complete tire pressure monitoring system replacement.
Another popular sport-utility vehicle, the Jeep Wrangler, has been linked to a recall that affects 20,459 versions of the SUV built in 2010 and 2011. The problem that is addressed by the callback action has to do with front and rear axle fasteners, which may have been improperly torqued at the factory. In an extreme situation, the fasteners may come completely loose, which would lead to a catastrophic loss of control. 19 fasteners in total are involved in the recall, which simply requires Jeep dealers to tighten each one and ensure that all are in spec.
Continuing on the theme of trucks are two Ford recalls involving both the Ford F-150 and full-size and the Ford Ranger compact pickups. According to a report published by The Detroit News, 23,688 2010 model Rangers are at risk of developing a gas leak due to the chafing of fuel lines feeding four-cylinder editions of the truck. Separately, Ford has also been forced to repair 144,000 Ford F-150s due to a rash of 'unwanted airbag deployments,' which Ford has described as the unfortunate instance of airbags deploying shortly after the truck's ignition is activated. 2004 and 2005 models are affected, and the recall is being managed according to which plant built the respective vehicles. As per CNN.com, the NHTSA initially asked Ford to recall a full 1.3 million trucks to deal with the issue, but the automaker has stated that its current limited recall plan is sufficient to fully mitigate the problem.
Ford is also calling back 8,022 automobiles which were previously involved in December of 2010 safety campaign in order to inspect work that was done replacing body control modules which ran the risk of starting a fire due to a short circuit. Ford claims that the initial round of repairs may have been compromised by a software error that did not allow for the proper identification of the modules in question, leaving some 2011 Ford F-Series, Ford Edge and Ford Flex owners with their original and defective electronic equipment.
The final recall on this week's list is also one of the most unusual in recent memory. Mazda has initiated a safety campaign the will see 52,000 2009 and 2010 Mazda MAZDA6 mid-size sedans returned to dealerships in order to install a special spring to keep spiders from building a potentially harmful nest in the vehicle's evaporative canister vent line. Apparently, actual cases of spider webs affecting the performance of the MAZDA6 have already been reported, and in a worst case scenario the webs can cause a pressure build-up in the fuel tank that could eventually crack the unit.