Even with the latest in "smart" airbag technologies, officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have stressed that a seat belt is a motorist's first line of defense.
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Toyota ordered a recall of 310,000 of its FJ Cruiser sport-utility vehicles earlier this year because of the possibility their seat belt assemblies also could come loose over time.
This is the latest in a series of recalls involving the Tacoma over the last year, problems ranging from faulty airbags to excessive corrosion, as well as a potential fire hazard.
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The latter issue, announced last autumn, involved a total of 7.4 million vehicles—the largest recall in Toyota history—equipped with faulty power window switches that could short out and catch fire. Since early 2012, the Tacoma has also faced several recalls involving airbags, including one that covered close to 500,000 of the trucks.
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And about 150,000 Tacomas produced between 2001 and 2004 were recalled due to corrosion problems so severe their spare tire carriers could fall off on the road while the vehicles were being driven.
Toyota plans to notify customers by mail in the coming weeks about the latest Tacoma recall. Owners can call 1-800-331-4331 or go to www.toyota.com/recall. Repairs will be made at no charge.
—By CNBC Contributor Paul A. Eisenstein. Follow him on Twitter
@DetroitBureau or at thedetroitbureau.com.