Spiders cause Toyota recall

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spider-iconOh, the webs they weave. Just in time for Halloween, Toyota is recalling over 803,000 vehicles because spiders’ webs may be causing airbags to accidentally deploy.

On Oct. 22, Toyota voluntarily recalled 2012-2013 model year Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza vehicles due to a problem with the air conditioning condenser unit housing. Darn you, Charlotte’s Web!

It seems spiders’ webs can cause a blockage in the drainage tube leading from the air conditioning condenser. Water from the condenser can leak onto the airbag control module and cause a short circuit, resulting in the airbag warning light turning on. “In some instances, the air bag(s) could become disabled or could inadvertently deploy,” stated a Toyota press release. The issue could also lead to a loss in the power steering assist function, meaning it would be harder to steer the vehicle.
CNN is reporting that “Toyota is aware of three airbag deployments … and 35 cases of warning lights coming on.”

Investigations into the problem have shown that spiders’ webs are the only consistent cause of the blockage, but Toyota can not assure that spiders have cause all of the incidents.

This isn’t the first time spiderwebs have caused car problems. Spiders have also been known to build webs inside tubes in cars. In 2011, Madza recalled 52,000 Mazda6 sedans for a problem caused when spiders built their webs inside a vent line for the gasoline tank.

To remedy the issue, Toyota dealers will apply sealant and install a cover to the air conditioning condenser unit housing seam located above the airbag control module.
Owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota dealer for the repair at no cost to the owner.

Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and by calling the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.