Toyota Highlander Recall: Seatbelt Selectable Force Limiter Software

This is just a quick note to let you know that Toyota has issued a second recall for the new (2014) Toyota Highlander. As you may remember, the first recall related to the 3rd row seat belt attachment. This one relates to the software controlling a sensor that affects air bag deployment.

Here’s the scoop from Toyota:

In certain 2014 model year Highlander and Highlander Hybrid vehicles, the seatbelt Selectable Force Limiter has two different settings (“low” and “high”) depending on the size classification of the occupant detected in the passenger seat. In the involved vehicles, the software for operation of the Selectable Force Limiter improperly sets the “low” load limit for any occupant, regardless of size, rather than for a small occupant as intended. Under some conditions, this could result in crash test performance that does not meet the requirements specified under FMVSS No. 208 “Occupant Crash Protection” for larger occupants and could increase the risk of an injury in the event of a crash.

This problem affects ca. 50k vehicles and could result in the air bags not deploying with the proper force to protect vehicle occupants in a collision. Because this is just a software glitch, it should be an easy fix.

I’m not sure of manufacture dates for vehicles affected by this recall. I would, however, imagine that most (if not all) 2014 Highlanders sold to date are affected. You can check for yourself over at Toyota.com/recall.

If your vehicle is affected, you’ll need to bring it to the dealer where they’ll update the software in the air bag’s electronic control unit.

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