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UMW Toyota has implemented a special page on its website for owners to check if their cars are affected by the company’s various recalls, using their vehicle identification number (VIN). The page includes links to those recalls, as well as to a guide on how to locate the VIN or chassis number of each vehicle.

The largest and most urgent of these recalls concern the now-infamous Takata airbag inflators. Three recalls have been announced so far, with the first one in April 2013 involving 18,700 units of the Corolla Altis and Camry made between July 2001 and November 2003, fitted with defective front passenger airbag inflators.

Two years later, in May 2015, UMW Toyota issued an extension of the recall to include 97,000 units of the Vios, Yaris, Corolla Altis, Camry and RAV4 – the latter for the front driver airbag inflator – made between November 2003 and March 2007. In July that year, the recall was expanded again to include 29,985 units of the Vios, Corolla Altis and Yaris made between April 2007 and December 2008.

As you have likely read before, the defective components could cause the airbag to inflate with excessive force and cause the assembly to rupture, spewing sharp metal shards at the occupants. This can cause death or serious injury – the inflators have already been implicated in the deaths of three people in Malaysia, so it is imperative that affected owners get their airbags replaced immediately.

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Other recalls include one for power window master switches, announced in October last year. Affecting 66,830 units of the Vios, Corolla Altis, Camry, Yaris and RAV4 produced from September 2005 to December 2010, the issue concerns an uneven application of grease during production, which over time causes a notchy or sticky feel during operation.

If commercially-available grease was used to fix the problem, it could cause friction in the switch, possibly leading to smoke or a fire. Rectification involves the application of special fluorine heat-resistant lubricant, or a complete switch board replacement if the component shows signs of malfunction.

Next, a recall announced in February this year involving the RAV4, manufactured between October 2005 and September 2008. This one centres around the seat belts of the outer rear seats, which could come in contact with the metal seat cushion frames in a very severe frontal collision, causing the lap belt webbing to be cut and separated.

In the event that this happens, the seat belt may not properly restrain the occupant, increasing the risk of injury. UMW Toyota says that 5% of the 500 RAV4s sold in Malaysia are affected.


Last but not least are two recalls for the Toyota Prius announced last week, the first involving the curtain airbags of more than 3,500 units of the hybrid vehicle, made between April 2009 and April 2012. On these cars, the curtain airbag inflators, which consist of a compressed gas chamber and a propellant chamber welded together, may have a crack in the welded area that could spread over time.

As such, the inflator could separate, causing the airbag to partially deploy and the inflator to be ejected into the passenger compartment – this can cause injuries if an occupant is present inside the vehicle. Recalled cars will be fitted with retention brackets to prevent the inflators from entering the interior.

The second Prius recall involves around 6,000 units of the car, built from April 2009 to November 2013. The issue concerns an evaporative fuel emissions control canister in the fuel tank, in which the coating of the emissions channel could develop cracks due to the improper shaping of portions of the channel. The cracks could expand over time and eventually cause fuel to leak out when the tank is full. The fuel suction plate sub-assembly will be replaced during the recall.

Aside from using the VIN checker, customers can also check if their car is affected through the UMW Toyota hotline, 1800-8-869682, or visit their nearest authorised Toyota service centre to seek assistance.