The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Recall Roundup: Hondas, Toyotas, Not Nissan, Oh My!

Do you remember when the American auto industry nearly collapsed due to decades of making inferior products? Has the gap finally been closed yet? The two largest Japanese auto manufacturers have announced a series of recalls in the last few weeks that cover millions of vehicles. That's also good news for Nissan, as they were the the only manufacturer of the Japanese big three not to recall a car in October.

Toyota's recall is the largest in recent memory, as it covers 7.4 million cars globally, including 2.5 million in the United States, reports Consumer Reports. The recall involves a window switch that apparently didn't get enough grease at the factory. The increased friction can eventually lead to sticky switches, smoke, and even fire. The recalled units include the following:

  • 2007 to 2008 Yaris (approximately 110,300)
  • 2007 to 2009 RAV4 (approximately 336,400)
  • 2007 to 2009 Tundra (approximately 337,100)
  • 2007 to 2009 Camry (approximately 938,100)
  • 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid (approximately 116,800)
  • 2008 to 2009 Scion xD (approximately 34,400)
  • 2008 to 2009 Scion xA (approximately 77,500)
  • 2008 to 2009 Sequoia (approximately 38,500)
  • 2008 Highlander (approximately 135,400)
  • 2008 Highlander Hybrid (approximately 23,200)
  • 2009 Corolla (approximately 270,900)
  • 2009 Matrix (approximately 53,800)

Note that because the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe are the same car with different badges, the recall also extends to 2009 Vibes as well, even if Pontiac is now extinct. Contact your nearest GM dealer for details.

Honda, on the other hand, did not do one massive recall. They did a series of smaller recalls. The first recall, issued at the beginning of this month, covered 820,000 model year 2002-2003 Civics and 2004-2005 Pilots, reports the Los Angeles Times. Wiring in the headlights can disconnect and cause the low-beams to stop functioning. That would suck.

Earlier this year, Honda recalled 550,000 2002-2004 CR-Vs and 2003 Pilots over the same headlight issues. Model year 2002-2006 CR-Vs have also been recalled over a window switch that can catch fire.

Another October Honda recall covered 660,086 model year 2007-2008 Acura TL sedans and 2003-2007 Accord models over a power steering hose that wears out prematurely. The hose eventually cracks and leaks, causing the car to lose power steering and possibly cause smoke or a fire. Replacement hoses won’t be available until early 2013, so if you detect any leakage or your steering suddenly becomes stiff, contact your local dealership ASAP.

In defective products cases such as these, manufacturers are held strictly liable for the damages caused by the dangerous product. For example, if your Yaris’ window switch catches your car on fire while it’s inside your garage, and your house burns down and kills your dear Grandmother that is sleeping in her room, Toyota would be liable for the car, house, and dead octogenarian.

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