Mike Stevens | Jan 29, 2009

Toyota has put out a worldwide recall on 1.3 million vehicles sold between January 2005 and April 2008, including Yaris models built in 2006 and 2007, as well as foreign models the Belta and Ractis, due to fears that a seat belt pre-tensioner may ignite or melt in severe frontal crashes.

Many modern cars use a pyrotechnic charge in the seat belt locking mechanism, which usually fires when one or more airbags deploy.

Fixing the issue is expected to take no more than an hour, and can be done at Toyota dealers. Affected owners should receive notice from Toyota over the next week. Owners of used Yarises are advised to contact their local Toyota dealer or service centre.

In the meantime, we suggest you avoid severe frontal collisions. Luckily there have been no reports as yet of any spontaneously combusting seat belt pre-tensioners, so keep up the good work.

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