Toyota announced it is recalling more than 340,000 Tacoma Access Cab pickups due to a potential problem with seat belts, according to Frenkel & Frenkel.

Toyota recently announced that it was recalling more than 340,000 Tacoma Access Cab pickups produced between 2004 and 2011 due to a potential problem with seatbelts in the vehicles.  Owners are to be notified by mail of the problem. Seat Belt Problem Toyota says that screws that attach the seat belt pre-tensioner to the seat belt retractor in the front seats of the vehicle may become loose over time, and if they loosen completely, the retractor spring cover could detach from the retractor.  The recall covers both the passenger and driver seat belts, and the defect could present a serious safety hazard. Voluntary Recall The recall is voluntary, according to company officials, and is the result of a design flaw rather than a manufacturing defect.  No accidents or injuries have been reported due to the problem, which occurs over time as the result of the door being opened and closed repeatedly.  The design flaw could cause the seat belts to retract improperly.  Those notified of the recall should visit their local Toyota dealer, where they will install new screws and a thread-locking sealant.  A new spring cover is also to be installed, all at no cost to the consumer. Rear-Hinged Rear Doors All models involved are equipped with rear-hinged rear doors.  It is the opening and closing of these doors that causes the malfunction in the seat belt mechanism, and not the use of the front doors.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stresses that even with current smart airbag technologies, a seat belt is the first line of defense for a motorist’s safety.  Toyota has issued a series of recalls over the last year, ranging from airbag problems to excessive corrosion, and even a potential fire hazard. When an auto defect is suspected as the cause or contributing factor in a car accident that causes injury or death, a product liability claim may be in order.  Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an auto accident where injuries may have been caused or worsened by defective car components.

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