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Recall Ordered By NHTSA

On Wednesday, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered the recall of 81,000 2004 and 2005 model year Honda Accords because of a potentially unsafe driver’s side airbag seat positioning sensor.

On Thursday, Toyota Motor Corp. said it was recalling 533,000 Tundra pickup trucks and Sequoia sport utility vehicles because of potential steering problems.

According to an Associated Press news report, Toyota officials said they are recalling 2004-2006 Tundra trucks and 2004-2007 Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicles. They received reports of 11 accidents and six injuries in connection with the defective products, Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong told reporters.

He said there was a “possibility of excessive wear to a front suspension lower ball joint that could make it difficult to steer the vehicle and stay in the center of the lane.” Drivers may also notice more noise coming from the front suspension, Kwong said.

As far as the Hondas are concerned, there was a malfunctioning of the seat positioning sensor because they were attached to the seat frame in the wrong location. The seat positioning sensor detects the driver seating position and adjusts airbag pressures.

According to NHTSA officials, “the airbag system will default to full inflation pressure regardless of seating position increasing the risk of airbag caused injury for smaller drivers in a frontal crash.”

The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

It is encouraging to see NHTSA ordering an auto maker to recall defective vehicles. Hopefully this is the begining of a more aggressive and proactive NHTSA. Now let’s hope that NHTSA goes after Ford and Chrysler and orders a recall of 15-passerger vans.

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