2012 Toyota Sienna, 4Runner: Recall Alert

March 27, 2012

Gulf States Toyota is recalling certain 2012 model year Toyota Sienna minivans and 4Runner SUVs equipped with a non-Toyota remote engine starter module that may be defective.

A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site lists the number of potential affected units at 363. Documentation (PDF) from Toyota indicates that approximately 204 of these units have been sold to customers.

2012 Toyota 4Runner

2012 Toyota 4Runner

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The problem

At issue is a potentially defective remote engine starter module manufactured by Audiovox Electronics Corporation and installed on certain 2012 model year Toyota Sienna and 4Runner models. A malfunction of the module could prevent the vehicle’s normal communication with the vehicle’s controller area network (CAN).

If this condition occurs, antilock braking (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) functions could be lost, resulting in the illumination of multiple dashboard warning lights , potentially affecting the operation of features indicated by those dashboard lights. Toyota says that affected features may include the speedometer, odometer, tachometer, keyless entry, temperature display, fuel efficiency gauge, compass, and the lights associated with ABS, ESC, airbags and power steering.

The automaker says that the module malfunction appears to be a rare occurrence and only reported to occur on initial starting. It has not been reported to occur while driving.

What Toyota will do

Gulf States Toyota will notify owners of affected vehicles and dealers will replace the remote engine starter module with a new one at no charge. The safety recall is expected to begin in early April 2012.

In the meantime, owners of affected 2012 Toyota Sienna minivans and 2012 Toyota 4Runner SUVs with any questions or concerns may contact Toyota at 1-800-444-1074.

Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov.  Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 12V120000.

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