Toyota recall: Yaris and RAV4 among 6.4m cars affected

9 Apr, 2014 4:42pm Jordan Bishop

Toyota recalls 35,124 UK cars including Yaris, RAV4 and Urban Cruiser models - no reports of any accidents linked to the faults.

Toyota is a surprisingly familiar word to see when talking about car recalls - and the brand is at it again with five separate issues leading to a global recall of 6.4 million vehicles.

Across the UK, 35,124 cars have been affected by three of the problems, leading the Japanese automaker to announce safety recalls on those RAV4, Hilux, Yaris and Urban Cruiser models impacted by the faults. 

This follows the news during February that over 30,000 Prius models were recalled due to a software problem, and a non-UK recall of 885,000 cars due to an air-conditioning problem.

The vast majority of the cars in question are at risk of developing a fault that may result in the driver’s airbag not deploying in the event of a crash.

This is due to the shape and position of a retainer for the airbag unit’s spiral cable, which can be damaged when the steering wheel is turned. A total of 24,785 UK versions of the RAV4 and Hilux built between June 2004 and December 2010 feature the potentially fault, and Toyota is recalling the vehicles so that an improved spiral cable can be fitted.

There is also an issue with the seat rail spring on 10,339 Yaris and Urban Cruiser models manufactured from January 2005 and August 2010.

Toyota has found the mechanism that locks the driver’s seat on the positioning adjustment rail may be weakened with frequent movement backwards and forwards. In three-door variants, the issue also extends to the front passenger seat.

If the spring breaks, the seat could move independently during a crash. Toyota will inspect all vehicles affected by this problem, and will replace the springs free of charge where required – the work will apparently take between 40 and 90 minutes depending on the model and extent of the damage.

A sub-set of these Yaris and Urban Cruiser models also suffer from a weakened steering column bracket. The weld connecting it to the instrument panel may break when the wheel is repeatedly turned with full force, causing the column to tilt out of position.

Toyota has emphasised that the driver will not lose steering control should this happen, although the bracket will still be inspected and reinforced or replaced depending on the state of the weld holding it.

The 1,293 vehicles impacted by this recall are second-gen Yaris with tilt/telescopic steering wheel adjustment and versions of the Urban Cruiser built between September 2005 and February 2009. The necessary updates for this recall, expected to take between two-and-a-half and four-and-a-half hours, will also be free of charge. 

Despite these concerns and the nationwide recall, there have been no reports of any accidents, injuries or fatalities in relation to these faults.

Toyota has confirmed owners of affected vehicles will be contacted directly in the coming week, although you can check whether the recall applies to your vehicle via a registration look-up function in the ‘Owners’ section at There is also a Toyota Recall Helpline for those owners seeking further information, available on 0800 1388 744.

Disqus - noscript

At least they have the brains, good will - and in my eyes - the correct attitude with this. Let's be frank and honest here: you would never see the the German manufacturers come clean with a euro (let alone global) recall on their cars..... Regardless of the danger/impact......cough**.... VAG with the well documented DSG and TSI probs**cough

This has made world news today and with good reason

With regards to 'coming clean' Toyota has probably the worst reputation of all the auto manufacturers in recent history! In fact there was so much of a cover up and lying (allegedly) that Toyota faced criminal charges in the US. They were very lucky to get away with a 1.2 Billion USD fine which, effectively, bought them out of further, and potentially more serious, criminal proceedings.

Don't forget that the Toyota issues caused actual fatalities but as the result of the fine/bribe, they are allowed to say that the deaths were caused by a floor mat coming loose and jamming the throttle rather than, as many believe, the defective throttle mechanism that they issued a global recall for a few months later.

A very serious black mark against Toyota's reputation IMO.

How predictable and yet bizarre that people try to twist this sort of news into an anti-German campaign!

All Toyota have is their reputation for reliability. Let's face it, their current range is dire - with one exception thanks to Subaru.

Why would anyone be a Toyota fanboy? There are one or two on this forum that post with multiple usernames.

Toyota and Lexus always score top in the reliability surveys and the German makers usually score worst. You know it wouldn't surprise me if these surveys were completely rigged. If you had the time you could complete these surveys under multiple names just to put a certain car maker in a certain position.

Hmmm, not rigged but based on real data - check the Warranty Direct website. The marques at the bottom are not Japanese.

Japanese manufacturers, Toyota included, are not as angelic as some
would like to believe. As far as I am aware, Toyota's recalls have been
implemented owing to the threat of legal compulsion, the cost of potential liabilities exceeding the cost of the recall. Integrity and goodwill have little to do with it.

Toyota's are no more dire than VW's, Fords, Vauxhalls, Renaults, Peugeots, Citroens etc and with out the hassle of breakdowns and having to use crap dealer networks! And lets not forget Lexus products (which are basically fancy Toyotas) are some of the most impressive vehicles around. Jeremy Clarkson even declaring that the Lexus LFA was "exquisite". You claim that all Toyota have is their reputation for reliability, but what do those other maufacturers that I mentioned have exactly?!

Funny how people have selective memories. Fatalities were caused by high speed stability issues on the Mk1 Audi TT - Audis answer being to fit a small lip spoiler on the tail, and another high profile one in recent years was the Ford Explorer tyre defect issue which caused around 100 fatalities and many more injuries.
As for the criminal charges in the US are you not aware of the suing culture in America and I'm not just talking the car industry?!

Criminal charges is a completely different matter to suing, even in the US. Learn the difference for yourself as I don't have time to explain it.

There have been plenty of cars with stability issues like the Audi TT and issues of SUVs rolling over due to their higher centre of gravity. Porsche 911s are also inherently unstable by design, that's physics for ya. All cars are much less stable at high speed and pretty much any car could be made to roll over under extreme conditions. I can see the day where ESP will be much more intrusive and impossible to disable.

What is completely different in the case of Toyota was the covering up of evidence and lying involved. As was said earlier, Toyota seems to have escaped criminal consequences (ie people going to prison) by literally buying themselves out of trouble with $1.2bn. The 'official' reason for the fatalities in the Toyota case are insecure floormats which can jam the throttle open. Nothing to do with the faulty throttle mechanisms that caused the massive recall a few months later. The whole thing stinks!

Would you say that real data includes resale values and new car sales?

Why do you think Honda is losing sales and shedding jobs at it's UK factory when the Jazz is the most reliable car according to this real data?

Why are VAG and BMW selling more and more new cars if they are so unreliable? Do you think that a VAG owner would buy another VAG if his current one blew itself to bits?

Why do people who rely on the cars for their livelihoods, such as minicab drivers, be buying/leasing more and more Skodas and VAGs in general? For these people, time in the garage, is a disaster! I've noticed that even in areas with a large Pakistani community, cab drivers are buying more and more VAGs where in the past they would have favoured Japanese cars.

Why are resale values for these 'unreliable' German cars so high? Surely customers will steer well clear of them because they will have owned German cars before or know people that do?!

I'm not arguing that the warranty data is incorrect, I'm simply saying that the above points also represent real data.

A motor car is a very complicated thing and problems are bound to arise. Whether manufactures recall because of their own virtue or because of fear of litigation doesn't matter because it is a good thing. Silly "yah boos" from the partisans of other makes (or that matter motoring journalists) should be ignored.
More importantly people who get recalls for their vehicles should be encouraged to act on them which, I gather, they don't always do.

Manufacturers who "have no recalls" worry me much more.

Or maybe value for money and breadth of model range? I currently drive a Skoda and before that drove a Fiat for 9 years. Both have served me well and on my own experience I would buy from either 'stable' again . I chose them because the way that they drive. and the fact that they are cheap to buy and run. The reason I didn't even look at a Japanese or German 'branded' car is they are far too expensive both to buy and to service. I did look at reliability data and Fiat are mid - table and Skoda are just a little above that - but it was my pocket that did the talking in the end.

Marketing and gullibility.
People buy brands not facts.

The anti-Toyota thing in the US is political. They have been singled out for problems that affect all marques.

The point about livelihoods and taxis etc simply isn't true. There was a period when Octavias were popular as minicabs because the old Skoda stigma meant that a use diesel car could be picked up cheaply, but those days are gone and there are many more Kia and Hyundai minicabs now.

Reliability as a purchase factor is history. All basic cars nowadays are generally reliable. Avoid silly things like DSG and the probability that any low end car will serve you well is high. In 2014, cars generally start first time and just keep going as long as they are serviced on time.

There will always be examples and anecdotes of problems affecting all marques, but the old reliability thing is for old men who remember manual chokes and rotor arms.

An Auris is a good competent car, far better than the equally boring Golf.

A very informed opinion there, clearly not at all swayed by the fact that you happen to own a car with a particularly poor record for recalls whilst the VW produced rival to the car you own has no recalls associated with it.

I would rather a seat spring being loose (Yaris)than a gearbox problem(VAG).Toyota's recalls seem to be for little things that don't stop the car from going.If a floor mat gets in the way,that's my fault,not Toyota's.BTW I own a Suzuki SX4, another reliable Japanese car that is being used for delivery work and at 100.000kms (62500mls) is still perfect.

Its a sad sad story, not only do you buy a sole-less and boring car but if you use it, it try`s to kill you. This even goes for the high end and overpriced Toyota`s (lexus) with the valve spring recalls last year.

Toyota, 6.3 million,
Ford 435,000
VW 25,000
Mazda 88,000
G.M. 2,200,000

just this week, all cars that need to have work done, and all mainly in the US, it is about time that the billion $£ fines are more frequently placed on these companies, after all it is our safety that's at risk.

It is disgusting that these companies rate global sales above peoples safety, which in some cases have been known about for years, without ANY rectification.

Exactly! The dumb yanks are exploiting Toyota's good will by demanding more and more! If people cant make sure that the floormats are secure then they deserve to crash and die! Probably because they are to fat to be able to even see the floor! Why should Toyota take the blame??! As someone else said it's a political witch hunt in America that is probably sponsered by some of the German car makers. They clearly want in to the lucrative US market! Use your brains people - look at how VW and BMW are pulling the wool over your eyes!!!

I aggree. You hardly see any Octovas taxis nowadays as its all Hyundis. I was in one today and the driver said it was better and much more realible than the skoda he had before. He said all the other drivers were going to get Hyundis now as they where sick of the Skodas breaking down. They are also to expensive for what they are!

Recalls and reliability are two things. Reliability is not having to bring your car to the mechanic too often. I once had a Chrysler (US) that needed a visit to the dealer after only two weeks of ownership... And a GM that needs visits to the garage about every two months. Good service under warranty but still annoying... That's what I call not reliable. Poor design and general quality is a bad choice from the consumer, but is not a matter of recall.

Also had another GM (US) and a Toyota (US) that went on for more than 250 000 Km each without ever breaking on me. The GM (US) had some recalls, though. Both were still reliable. The recalls just shows that the manufacturer (by itself or by law...) is acting to give me the car I bought with my money as it was suppose to be on the first place.

Now on recalls, what Toyota did was not declaring them to the NHTSA, thus the mega-fine. On the other hand the latest recalls from GM comes from a misconception of the product in the first place and that they knew about from day one but were saying "ahh... good enough for the consumer, they should know what to do if it breaks on them". Not exactly the same story...

So when someone say that all Toyota have for them is their reputation, I tend to agree but cant overlookk what reputation some others have built on their own...

Who mentioned VW? Not me. As you have now mentioned them yourself it is worth saying they have "form", inter alia, for transmission and engine problems but not owning up to them. See other postings here for details.

As kevin (above) points out, Toyota has just been fined $1.2 billion in the US so are owning up this time. What else are they hiding that has yet to be uncovered? I too have had bad experiences with VW, the reverse with Volvo.

That isn't really the point. Japanese manufacturers often present a stainless, beyond reproach image that is false. They can and do get things wrong and then try to cover their tracks the same as everyone else.

You seemed to be getting quite worked up 'Tired Kevin'
Calm down dear!

You need to do research before posting - Honda have been shedding jobs in the UK because sales are poor in Europe where most of its UK made cars end up- Honda as a company is making good profit and has a strong presence in Asia and - in particular - the US - where they have been in the top 10 for sales for the best part of two decades with the Accord and Civic - like Toyota actually. No Euro brand has ever been able to match this.

Agree, recalls are a positive rather than a negative. I too would be more concerned at a car maker that never issues a recall even though they know there is an issue of some sort - which does indeed go on in the car world.

'Little things that don't stop the car from going' - yes, like brakes that fail to work and sticking accelerator pedals. Personally I'd rather have transmission problems than something go wrong that is likely to result in me writing off my car and killing or seriously injuring myself in the process but each to their own. Personal experiences aren't the best measure of reliability but BTW we have 2 high mileage SEATs in the family, one with 145000 miles and one with 185000 miles, neither of which shows any signs of giving up the ghost any time soon and only a handful of minor inexpensive faults between them so forgive me if I'm not overly impressed.

A Golf stopped suddenly on the motorway,truck plows thru and kills the driver.Fault:gearbox,sounds dangerous to me. So a handful of faults with your Seat's.None,and I mean NONE with my 2 Suzuki's,except a worn drivers seat,and neither has needed new disc rotors only pads.A work vehicle leads a hard life and needs to be very reliable first or you don't earn $,or £ .VAG make lovely cars but I just don't trust them as the problems seem to be expensive,often and inconvenient.When they're good they're great but when bad it's tear out hair time.

I think Toyota should worry far more about their range of rubbish cars than how these recalls damage their reputation. They have hit rock bottom IMO.

To think that in the 1990s they had such a fantastic range The Mk1 Yaris was inovative and a class leader, the Mk1 Rav4 was unique and instrumental in SUV history, the Celica was a great dynamic sports coupe and driver's car, The MR2 again unique and a brave design and the Supra a good value mild supercar. In addition they had the Corolla (in Europe), which though boring had a legendary reputation for bulletproof reliability!

Totally! Such good cars dnd don't forget the original previa. OK so it was an MPV but at the time it was new and unique. In those days Toyota was brave and innovative and it paid off. The motoring press loved them, customers loved them and all was well. Now they've focused too much on Lexus who just follow BMW and Mercedes instead of being brave and making something new. With the exception of the LFA, which was a one off (and one that I've never even seen let alone considered buying), every Lexus I've looked at and tested has been a big disappointment and well and truly outclassed by the Germans. All they over is lots of equipment, much of which is of no interest to me, I just want a car that is basically brilliant. Sadly only BMW seem to understand this right now!

I think you are confusing internet forum noise with real facts. The ruling on this case concluded that the vehicle was not to blame for the incident and it was more likely the result of the driver being distracted by a telephone conversation she was having at the time. It was also a manual Golf so not related to the dsg issue which was resolved through a voluntary recall, i.e. not for safety reasons.

60000 miles without fault is good but not unheard of. When your Suzuki is 11 years old or has over 180000 miles without anything going wrong I'll be impressed but it won't happen.

Despite your personal experiences with Seat - lets be honest they generally have a pretty poor reputation for reliability - the worst of the VW group, with Skoda being the best. Sorry but I think my bet would be on a Suzuki rather than a Seat for an excellent long term reliability record....

Toyotas used to be really good, what has happened recently? There has been so many recall going on including the Jazz, Rav4 and Prius.
Is it because they are rushed or not designed to a great standard?
They are also a little expensive for what they are compared to other cars in the same category.
Come on Toyota, sort it out!

I remember those, you young whippersnapper. Good job we don't have them now.

You might be right,but I don't feel any more reassured.I'll stick with the Japanese thanks,I'll trust my own experience.

LOL "Reliability as a purchase factor is history". Really? So how come my neighbours 2008 E class CDI has ended up on the back of a low loader on two ocassions, meanwhile my fathers 2003 Accord has yet to experience a breakdown in 11 years?!

You don't have to be old to remember manual chokes - I'm 31 and my first car had a manual choke, and it was very reliable, but it was also - funnily enough - Japanese!