Remote Engine Starters cause of Toyota Sienna, 4Runner Recall

By Joel Arellano | March 27, 2012
Gulf States Toyota will be issuing a recall of more than 300 Toyota 4Runner crossovers and Sienna minivans, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The issue involved is the remote engine starters found in the Toyota Sienna and 4Runner. Gulf State Toyota, which distributes the two brands, directly imports its vehicles from Japan instead of ordering them through Toyota's North American headquarters. Thus, Gulf States Toyota installed remote engine starter modules supplied by aftermarket Audiovox Electronics instead of those provided by the parent company. A problem in the Audiovox Electronics remote engine starter module can affect the Toyota Sienna and 4Runner vehicles controller area network (CAN). The issue can prevent their antilock brakes and stability control from working, increasing the likelihood of an accident. A warning light appears on the Toyota 4Runner and Sienna's if the CAN has been compromised.
A total of 363 Toyota 4Runner and Toyota Sienna vehicles may be affected by the recall. Gulf States Toyota plans to start contacting owners early next month. Toyota Sienna and 4Runner owners will be asked to bring in their Toyota 4Runner and Sienna minivans to the dealerships which will examine, then replace, any remote engine starters at no cost. 4Runner crossover and Toyota Sienna minivan owners may also contact the automaker at (800) 444-1074 for further information. The NHTSA can be contacted at (888) 327-4236, and callers should reference campaign ID number 12V120000. No accidents, injuries, or fatalities involving the above issue have been reported at the time of this post. Source: NHTSA