Toyota has recalled 8 (eight) Camrys and 4 (four) Avalon sedans for model year 2017 due to a problem with knee airbags. The problem, according to Toyota's official statement, is that "During vehicle assembly, it is possible that incorrect fasteners were used to install the front passenger knee airbag assembly. This could affect its performance, increasing the risk of injury in a crash."
Knee airbags prevent injury to the lower extremities in certain types of crashes. They also deploy and hold the passenger in place during a frontal collision, preventing what is called "submarining." In certain crashes, the occupant can slide down under the seatbelt and be harmed. The knee airbag can help ensure an occupant stays in the proper position so that other safety systems can operate as designed. We have added the video below to show why these airbags are a vital part of safety in cars.
If you own a Camry or an Avalon for the new model year (2017) you can check right here to see if yours is one of the unlucky twelve that will need to return to the dealership. Otherwise, you can wait for the snail mail to bring you a letter advising you of the problem.
Interestingly, even if you are one of the twelve no work may be needed. As Toyota explains, "Toyota dealers will inspect the vehicles to determine if incorrect fasteners were used." If so the work includes having the dealer install the correct bolts.
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