1. Toyota has blamed a musty A/C smell on microbes [i.e., mold] growing o the evaporator surface and now a lawsuit wants them to do something about it.

    The plaintiffs claim the vehicles have defective heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that cause smells and health problems from mold that collects on the evaporators. Numerous complaints have allegedly been filed with the government, Toyota and Lexus dealerships nationwide since at least 1999.

    This isn't the first time Toyota has been sued for musty A/C units.

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  2. When Toyota switched away from using plastic or glass-based inulation in favor of soy, it invited in some very unwelcome Toyota loyalisits.

    According to the plaintiff, she learned the hard way about the soy wiring when her Avalon wouldn't start and a look under the hood showed wires chewed, so she had the car towed to a dealer. Toyota told her rodents had caused the damage and it would be no problem to repair the problems as long as she could cough up $6,000 to cover the bill.

    The soy-based wiring is allegedly attracting in rodents, who love to chew it up and use it for nesting material. The lawsuit, Heidi Browder vs. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al. follows a similar lawsuit filed against Honda earlier this year.

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  3. How hot do you like your seat heater in the winter?

    If you like it really toasty — as in, with an actual flame — you’ll probably love one of 7,700 Toyota vehicles with seat heaters that catch on fire. The vehicles have been recalled because fire and cars don’t get along, what with their tanks of highly flammable liquids and all. All the affected vehicles are equipped with aftermarket accessory seat heaters that contain copper strand heating elements. The recall is being handled by Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) which is the world’s largest distributor of Toyota and Scion vehicles.

    The recall is expected to begin on July 14, 2016 and the seat heaters will need to be disconnected. Owners will be reimbursed.

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  4. Toyota has been hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging the Highlander has a rear liftgate that can get stuck open.

    The lead plaintiff, Annita Emerson, says her 2009 Highlander liftgate got stuck after the power lift arm broke, eventually causing the hinge to bow. The repair set her back $4,700 and happened just after her warranty expired. The lawsuit says there's evidence Toyota knows of this defect following a technical service bulletin (TSB) they issued to dealers in 2012. The TSB says the 2008-12 Highlanders have gaps between the power lift arm bolts and the rear gates, causing the liftgates to get stuck. Dealers were told to replace the back door hinges and the panel sub-assembly, but only if the owner complained.…

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  5. Seatbelts are a simple yet effective way to protect you in a crash.

    But in the 2014 Highlander the middle seat belt of the third row might fail when you need it most, prompting a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that particular seat belt might not have been secured properly. If the belt isn't secured properly it's pretty obvious you won't be either. Toyota says the affected vehicles were manufactured November 20, 2013, through January 18, 2014. In total they're recalling 7,000 vehicles.

    You'll need to make a trip to your Toyota dealer so they can make sure the seat belt anchor is secured to the Highlander. Toyota didn't say how long that might take. Expect a recall letter this month or call Toyota at 800-331-4331 if you have any questions.

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