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Steven J. Klearman
Steven J. Klearman
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Sienna Minivans Recalled By Toyota

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Only a few short weeks remain in 2014 and vehicle recalls are still at an all-time high continuing a trend that has been present all year.

The string of high-profile vehicle recalls that have been announced this year should spur highway safety regulators to be more aggressive in overseeing the auto industry, a Senate Republican said Thursday.

Most recently Toyota announced a recall of more than 30,000 Sienna minivans from the 2015 model year which affects some 25,000 in the United States. The recall involves a problem with plastic hand grips mounted near the side curtain airbags, said the automaker in a news release.

The involved vehicles are equipped with left and right side second row overhead assist grips mounted to the roof rails.   In the event of a collision that results in deployment of a curtain shield airbag (CSA), an assist grip could detach from the mounting bracket under some conditions.  If an assist grip completely detaches, it may contact an occupant, increasing the risk of injury in a crash. Quoted from the Toyota News Release.

Typically, side-curtain airbags deploy with less force than front airbags which are necessary to help protect unbelted drivers or front-seat passengers. To date there has been no injuries or deaths associated with this recall.

While the recall is voluntary, once a manufacturer is aware of safety problems, it has five business days to inform the safety agency of recall plans or they risk facing civil fines.

For more information on recalls and what is being done to address the ongoing problems as recalls continue to surge read, “Senator: Auto recalls should be ‘wake-up call‘.”

Consumers can find detailed information at www.toyota.com/recall and by calling Toyota Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331.