Issues with Toyota’s Sequoia older SUVs prompt a NHTSA investigation image

The US auto safety regulators have started an investigation following some crashes caused by steering and braking problems on older Toyota Sequoia SUVs.

135 complaints have been filed to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from owners of 2001-2002 model year Toyota Sequoia, claiming their SUVs have some serious safety issues triggered by an unpredicted and unnecessary activation of the stability control system, resulting in automatic wheel braking and steering pull. These problems have been linked to two crashes and five injuries and NHTSA’s investigation is the first step before it decides whether a recall is necessary. The agency said around half of the complaints pointed towards a faulty sensor as the cause of the problem, while others report similar symptoms and driving conditions. Most of the incidents happened during cruising on highways.

In 2010, Toyota recalled 50,000 2003 Sequoia SUVs because the stability control system could activate at low speed for a few seconds during acceleration. NHTSA launched an investigation in 2008 into the matter and upgraded it in 2009. Toyota asserted at the time the issue should not have been classified as a major safety concern, but agreed to recall the vehicles after all. The new inquiry opened by NHTSA could now affect around 135,000 Sequoia sport utility vehicles. The Japanese automaker said it was fully cooperating with authorities and would comply if a new recall campaign was demanded.