Toyota recalling some Tacomas, Camrys and Venzas

TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) - Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. said Wednesday that it's recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles because of various problems.

The recalls include about 495,000 Tacoma trucks made during the 2005 through 2009 model years that need to have their steering wheel spiral cable assemblies replaced, Toyota said.

The Japanese automaker said that friction may occur in some vehicles between the assembly's spiral cable and the retainer, and over time, cut the connection to the driver's airbag.

That could cause an airbag warning light to remain lit after the vehicle is started and for the driver's airbag to be deactivated, preventing the airbag from deploying during a crash, Toyota said.

In addition, the automaker is recalling about 70,500 Camry sedans made during the 2009 model year and about 116,000 Venza crossovers made during the 2009 through 2011 model years, to replace their stop lamp switches.

The automaker said that during installation of the switch on one of the North American assembly lines, silicon grease may have reached the inside of the switch and caused an increase in electrical resistance.

That could cause warning lights to illuminate, keep the vehicle from starting, or prevent it from shifting out of "park," Toyota said.

In both recalls, Toyota said it's in the process of obtaining the replacement parts it needs. Once it does, it will notify the affected owners and replace the parts for free.

Toyota said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by these two problems.

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