Car Recalls

Toyota Highlander recall 08V181000

Third Row Seat Belts May Not Function As Intended
Body, Interior & Misc., December 18, 2008

RepairPal Expert Overview

Seat belts for non-driver seating positions have a feature for child seats where they will switch to an automatic locking retractor (ALR) when the belt is pulled all the way out. On two of the third row seating positions, the seat belt will switch off this mode unintentionally, which could affect the stability of a child restraint and increase the risk of personal injury.


This could be considered a medium priority recall; this would change to high if the third row seating positions are used for child seats. Please contact your Toyota dealer. They will check to see if your specific vehicle is affected and advise you on what to do next. Always have your vehicle identification number (VIN) handy when you call.


Seat belts for non-driver seating positions have a feature for child seats where they will switch to an automatic locking retractor (ALR) when the belt is pulled all the way out. It will not switch back to emergency locking retractor (ELR) until the belt has been fully retracted. On two of the third row seating positions, the seat belt will switch back to an ELR mode before the belt webbing is fully retracted, which could affect the stability of a child restraint and increase the risk of personal injury. Dealers will install a newly designed seat belt component free of charge. The recall began December 18, 2008. The Toyota recall number is 80D.

Original Recall from the NHTSA

Model Year(s): 2008

Mfr's Report Date:
December 18, 2008

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 08V181000

NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component: SEAT BELTS:REAR

Potential Number of Units Affected: 90189

Summary: TOYOTA IS RECALLING 90,189 MY 2008 HIGHLANDER AND HIGHLANDER HYBRID PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH A THIRD ROW SEAT. THESE VEHICLES FAIL TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 208, "OCCUPANT CRASH PROTECTION." THE NON-DRIVER DESIGNATED SEATING POSITIONS (DSP) ON THESE VEHICLES IS EQUIPPED WITH SEAT BELT ASSEMBLIES THAT HAVE A FEATURE THAT CONVERTS THE RETRACTOR FROM AN EMERGENCY LOCKING RETRACTOR (ELR) TO AN AUTOMATIC LOCKING RETRACTOR (ALR). THE BELTS CONVERT TO THE ALR MODE AFTER THE WEBBING HAS BEEN FULLY WITHDRAWN FROM THE RETRACTOR. THE SYSTEM IS DESIGNED SO THAT AS THE BELT IS RELEASED INTO THE RETRACTOR, THE SYSTEM REMAINS IN THE ALR MODE SO THAT A CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM (CRS) CAN BE TIGHTLY SECURED.

Consequence: HOWEVER, FOR THE TWO THIRD ROW DSP'S ON THESE VEHICLES, THE ALR MODE DEACTIVATES BEFORE THE WEBBING IS FULLY RETRACTED, SO THAT IT WILL NOT LOCK WHEN CERTAIN REAR-FACING CRS'S THAT HAVE A SHORT SEAT BELT ROUTING PATH ARE INSTALLED IN THE VEHICLE. THIS CAN ALLOW THE SEAT BELT WEBBING TO SPOOL OUT DURING NORMAL DRIVING MANEUVERS, WHICH COULD AFFECT THE STABILITY OF A CHILD RESTRAINT INSTALLED AT THOSE SEATING POSITIONS. AS SUCH, THIS COULD DISCOURAGE THE USE OF A CHILD RESTRAINT AND IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH, THE CHILD MAY NOT BE ADEQUATELY PROTECTED POSSIBLY RESULTING IN INJURY.

Remedy: DEALERS WILL INSTALL A NEWLY DESIGNED SEAT BELT COMPONENT FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 18, 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT TOYOTA AT 1-800-331-4331.

Notes: TOYOTA RECALL NO. 80D. CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.

Recall data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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