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Toyota recalls 2.9 million cars over seatbelt defect

Global recall affects 4×4 models produced between July 2005 and January 2016.

Toyota Motor Corp is conducting a global recall of 2.87 million 4×4 vehicles because their rear seatbelts could be damaged in the event of a crash.

The world’s largest carmaker said in an email on Thursday that the lap-shoulder seatbelts in the vehicles’ second-row seats could come in contact with the metal seat cushion frame in a severe frontal accident.

“There is a possibility that, in the event of a high-speed frontal collision, the seatbelt webbing could contact a portion of the metal seat cushion frame, become cut and separate,” the statement said.

“If this occurs, the seatbelt may not properly restrain the occupant, which could increase the risk of injury to the occupant.” Toyota said the recall covered its RAV4 4×4 model, made between July 2005 and August 2014, and the Vanguard 4X4, produced between October 2005 and January 2016, which are sold only in Japan.

The recall includes 1.33 million units in North America, 625,000 in Europe, 434,000 in China and 177,000 in Japan.

In Japan, another 109,000 cars were recalled because of problems linked to a fuel-suction plate causing a potential fire risk. The affected cars were made between October 2006 and October 2014.

Toyota said it had received two reports in North America, in which rear seatbelts separated following crashes, including one involving a fatal accident in Canada. However, the carmaker said it could not determine whether the death or injury was linked to the defect.

Other recalls:

Meanwhile, General Motors announced on Tuesday that it was recalling about 200,000 Saab and Saturn cars in the US and Canada to replace the Takata driver’s airbag inflators.

The move was part of a broader recall of about 5.4 million vehicles announced last month by US safety regulators. Takata inflators can explode with too much force in a crash and hurl metal shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 10 people have died and 139 have been hurt worldwide because of the problem.

The latest round of Takata recalls cover vehicles made by GM, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Trucks.

They bring to about 24.4 million the number of vehicles under recall in the US for Takata airbag problems, affecting 14 car and truck makers.

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