Toyota issued a statement on Thursday regarding a recall for 2.9 million sports utility vehicles, including more than 1.1 million in the U.S., because of seat belts that might fail in a crash.
The recall covers RAV4 SUVS from the 2005 through 2014 model years, the RAV4 electric vehicle from 2012 through 2014, sold in North America, and the Vanguard sold in Japan from 2005-2016, the Japanese automaker said.
According to Toyota, it is possible that the belts in both second-row window seats could come in contact with a metal seat cushion frame in a severe frontal crash. If that happens, the belts could be cut and would not restrain passengers.
The company said it will add plastic covers to the metal frame at no cost to customers.
The recall also affects 625,000 vehicles in Europe, 434,000 vehicles in China and 177,000 in Japan.
It is universally known that the use of seat belts saves many lives each and every day. In fact, according to a study by James Madison University, when properly used, safety belts reduce the number of serious traffic injuries by 50 percent and fatalities by 60-70 percent.
And while the benefits of seat belts are undeniable, a defective seat belt can lead to disastrous consequences. If a person is involved in an accident with a flawed seat belt, and that belt fails at the moment of impact, serious injuries, including death, can occur. Sadly, seat belt defects are all too common, as this recall highlights.
Accidents involving defective seat belts can lead to various injuries, including bruises, lacerations, broken and fractured bones, brain injuries and wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident, and you have reason to believe that a defective seat belt may have contributed to the injuries, you may have a legal right to financial compensation for the harm suffered. With that said, it is crucial that you explore all of your legal options as soon as possible as there are limitations placed on how long you have to pursue your legal rights.