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This week’s safety recall updates have a familiar ring; primarily due the cause of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall listed at the top of this page. In the aforementioned case, Takata airbags are not named as the manufacturer in question but the malfunction description sounds identical to ones given in multiple recalls in which Takata is named as the manufacturer. So far, four deaths have been associated to (if not attributed to) the airbag malfunction listed in campaign number 14V65500. Log onto early and often for the latest in NHTSA updates, automotive news and views, and millions of listings for new and used cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs.

Remember to look inside of the driver door jamb (most vehicles) for the production date (Month/Year). This information will help you determine whether or not your ride is currently under a NHTSA safety recall.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V655000 

Toyota Recall Campaign Number:

Vehicles Affected: Certain 2002-2005 Lexus SC and Toyota Sequoia, 2003-2005 Toyota Tundra, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Corolla Matrix, and Pontiac Vibe vehicles that were originally sold, or are currently registered, in high humidity areas of Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa. Approximately 247,000 vehicles are expected for inclusion in this recall campaign.

Cause: In the event of a crash necessitating the deployment of the front passenger air bag, inflators in the front passenger air bags are susceptible to rupture due to faulty pressure regulator.

Concern: In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the front passenger’s frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring the passenger seat occupant or other occupants.

Correction: Toyota will notify owners of affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles and General Motors will notify owners of affected Pontiac Vibe vehicles. Toyota, Lexus, and GM dealers will replace the passenger side air bag inflator, free of charge. If a replacement inflator is not available, as an interim measure, the dealer will disable the front passenger air bag and advise the customer not to use the front passenger seat until a replacement inflator is installed. Toyota will begin its owner notification and remedy of the affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles on or around October 25, 2014. Details on GM’s notification and remedy schedule are pending. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Pontiac Vibe owners may contact GM at 1-800-521-7300.

NOTE: Always wear your safety belts when the vehicle is in motion. If you own or regularly operate a vehicle that is included in this recall, then avoid allowing passengers to occupy the front passenger seat until the condition is rectified.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V552000
Mazda Recall Campaign Number: 78I41

Vehicles Affected: Certain 2008 Mazda Tribute Hybrid vehicles manufactured October 10, 2006 through May 23, 2008. Only approximately 423 vehicles are expected for inclusion in this recall campaign.

Cause: The coolant pump for the hybrid system may fail, resulting in the hybrid electronics overheating.

Concern: If the hybrid electronics system overheats, it may shut down the powertrain, resulting in a stall-like condition, increasing the risk of a motor vehicle crash.

Correction: Mazda will notify owners with specific instructions for locating qualified dealers that will replace the original Motor Electronics Coolant (MEC) Pump with an improved brushless pump, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on November 3, 2014. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5000.

NOTE: Obviously this recall is not on the list because of the number of units affected. It is here because of the potential seriousness of the situation in question. If you own this or any hybrid vehicle please understand that keeping the batteries at normal temperature is critical to safe vehicle operation.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.