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Toyota recalls 2.9 million RAV4 over defective seatbelts



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 …as Daimler also recalls 840,000

TOYOTA has said that it was recalling 2.87 million vehicles globally due to the possibility that their rear seatbelt could come apart in a crash and cause injuries.

The recall involved Toyota’s RAV4 sports utility vehicle made between July 2005 and August 2014 and between October 2005 and January 2016. The announcement also involves its Vanguard SUV produced between October 2005 and January 2016. “There is a possibility that, in the event of a very severe frontal crash, the lap seatbelt belt webbing could contact a portion of the metal seat cushion frame and come off,” the company said in an email.

A company spokeswoman said Toyota had received two reports where a crash occurred and the rear seatbelt was sliced, including a fatality in Canada and an injury to a US driver.

But she added that it was still unclear if the defect was to blame. The recall includes 1.3 million vehicles in North America, as well as 625,000 vehicles in Europe, 434,000 vehicles in China, 177,000 in Japan and 307,000 in other regions.

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Toyota said it would add resin covers to the vehicles’ metal seat cushion frames to prevent the seatbelt from being cut in a crash.

In another related development, Daimler AG announced the recall of some 840,000 Mercedes Benz and Daimler vehicles in the United States equipped with potentially defective Takata airbags. Daimler said the recall included about 705,000 Mercedes-Benz cars and 136 000 Daimler vans.

It was the latest recall involving Takata airbags, which can rupture and send shrapnel into occupants of a car. At least 10 deaths, including nine in the United States, have been tied to the faulty airbags. Automakers worldwide have been forced to recall more than 20 million cars to have the airbags replaced.

Investigators suspect that the airbag inflators and the propellant inside can deteriorate, especially in consistently hot and humid conditions, causing them to misfire.

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