Models: Theft Deterrent System
Number Involved: 1,960
Dates of Manufacture: June - September 1998
Defect: Aftermarket theft deterrent systems used on 1998-1999 Toyota RAV4, Avalon, and Sienna model vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota Distributors, Inc., in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina. The alarm wiring harness plugs into the vehicle's ignition switch and the vehicle's ignition switch wiring harness plugs into the alarm harness to complete the circuit. A percentage of the female terminals used in the alarm connector were found to be defective, causing an 'open circuit' condition when mated to the male ignition switch terminals. This condition can cause intermittent performance of the vehicle's electrical components such as the dash warning lights and HVAC fan speed controls. Also, the vehicle may not run smoothly and stall.
Remedy: Dealers will inspect the date code label on the security system harness and any displaying the manufacturing/final date code will be replaced with newly produced harnesses. The date codes are: RAV4: 6/24/98, 6/25/98, 6/26/98; Sienna: 6/25/98, 6/26/98; and Avalon: 6/30/98, 7/1/98, 8/31/98, 9/1/98, 9/2/98, and 9/3/98. Owner notification was to begin during November 1998. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Southeast Toyota Distributor at 1-800-301-6859. [NHTSA Recall No. 98E035
NHTSA said manufacturers are required to mail a recall notice to all purchasers, owners and dealers when a safety defect or noncompliance with Federal safety standards is found. The agency urges owners to wait until they receive notification from the manufacturer before contacting their dealers to schedule the repair work. Not all vehicles of a particular make and model may be subject to the recall.