The recall includes 495,000 Tacoma pickups.

A cable could loosen and cause the driver airbag not to deploy.

Toyota will begin notifying owners in April.


Toyota is recalling a large number of Tacoma pickups due to a potential problem with the truck's driver side airbag. According to the automaker and the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 500,000 vehicles are affected by the issue, which could prevent the airbag from deploying in a crash.

The NHTSA says the issue stems from potential friction between the steering wheel spiral cable and the truck's chassis. According to the government agency, friction over time could cause the steering wheel cable to become disconnected from the driver's airbag module, causing the airbag not to deploy.

Toyota says it hasn't received any reports of injuries from the issue and notes that the Tacoma's airbag warning light will illuminate if the airbag module becomes disconnected from the steering wheel spiral cable. While this would likely prompt owners to bring their pickups in to the dealership for service, the recall will allow the automaker to resolve the issue before it becomes potentially dangerous.

According to Toyota, recall notices will be mailed to owners of affected Tacoma models beginning in April. Mailings will suggest the recall be performed at a local Toyota dealership, which will replace the affected part for free in just 30 minutes. The automaker says owners with questions can call its customer experience center directly at 800-331-4331, or reach the NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236.

The recall comes on the heels of another large Toyota recall affecting midsize Camry sedan and Venza crossover models. That recall affected nearly 190,000 vehicles and was necessitated by a defective part in the models' brake lights that could cause the lights to become inoperable.

With more than 110,000 units sold last year, the Tacoma is by far America's best-selling midsize pickup truck. Although rivals include the Chevrolet Colorado and Nissan Frontier, many automakers are pulling out of the segment as buyer preferences trend towards larger pickups.

What it means to you: If you own a 2005 through 2009 Tacoma, don't be surprised when your recall notice shows up in the mail.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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