Toyota has announced a voluntary recall of the Scion iQ, citing weight sensor cables in the front passenger seat that can prevent airbags from deploying correctly.
The recall is the latest of many for Toyota, which recently recalled 2.5 million cars due to faulty window switches that could ignite and cause fire. Toyota is still reeling from the unintended acceleration scandal of 2009 (though they were acquitted of any guilt in those cases) and are eager to ease consumer fears. Making sure that airbags work correctly certainly qualifies.
There have been no reported incidents, but Toyota says that weight sensor cables in the front passenger seat of the compact hatch can become damaged to the point that the passenger airbag doesn't deploy in the event of an accident.
Because the Scion iQ is a minimalist's car, there is no glove box. The iQ uses a tray underneath the passenger seat instead, and potentially, objects in that tray can come into contact and damage the cable sensors. This could cause the Occupant Classification System (OCS) to not recognize that a passenger is in the seat, and the airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioner won't be activated.
The recall affects models in the U.S. only, and owners of affected vehicles will receive notifications in the mail beginning in December. The issue will be fixed free of charge, and should take about an hour.