A Different Kind of Airbag Recall For 100,000 Toyota Corolla Cross
To be honest, wave after wave of airbag recalls over almost a decade now are so common we hardly notice. But what got our attention with this safety recall for the 2022 and 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross airbags is that it has nothing to do with the trigger mechanism, premature deployment, or the like. Instead, this recall is because the airbag cover on the passenger side dash was improperly made. And the reason for that is that the supplier eliminated certain processes during manufacturing.
How can the Corolla Cross dash manufacturer skip steps?
Nobody is saying how an outside supplier can arbitrarily skip the manufacturing steps of components they’re making—especially airbag-related parts. But allegedly, this is exactly what happened.
The airbag covers are typically perforated to ease the deployment of the airbag from its housing in the event of an accident. Once a Toyota assembly plant employee discovered the problem, Toyota began an investigation. That led them to the supplier, Vuteq Alabama. Vuteq makes the instrument panel assembly.
From its own investigation, Vuteq said the perforations designed into the underside of the dash cover were missing. Allegedly, the perforation part of the manufacturing process was skipped. No explanation has been given so far as to why.
Which Corolla Cross crossovers are in the recall?
Toyota decided to run several tests to see if airbag deployment was compromised in any way without the perforations. From these tests, Toyota confirms that ‘abnormal deployment” occurs when the Corolla Cross perforations are missing. That means it is in noncompliance with section 14.4 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration federal motor vehicle safety standard 208.
That led to the recall yesterday when over 96,000 2022 and 2023 Corolla Cross vehicles were recalled. Toyota also warns drivers not to allow front passengers until their cars are inspected. Build dates are between September 1, 2021, to May 4, 2023. Toyota expects that under 2% of the 96,000 recalled cars will actually need a dash cover replacement. Hybrid models are not part of this recall.
Where can you get more information?
Those cars found to have the defect will receive new dash assemblies under warranty, so there is no charge to Corolla Cross owners. Dealers have already been advised of the safety recall, and owners will receive notices by mail in July.
For those Corolla Cross owners wanting more information, they can contact the NHTSA. Reference recall No. 23V384. They can also contact Toyota customer service at 800-331-4331. Have your car’s VIN handy when you inquire about the recall.