(File photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Toyota is starting off the reopening of the government with a giant recall.
It is recalling recent-vintage Camrys and a host of other models to fix a problem that could cause airbags to either fail or to pop open inadvertantly.
The recall is a whopper: 803,000 model-year 2012 and 2013 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza vehicles in the U.S.
The problem centers on the housing for the air-conditioning condenser unit. Water from the condenser can drip down the housing and leak onto the airbag control module. This could cause a short circuit.
In the event of a short circuit, the airbag warning light will illuminate and the airbags will either become disabled or deploy inadvertently. Toyota also warns that, in "limited instances," the power steering won't work either, which can be dangerous because of all the effort required to turn the steering wheel without it.
It sounds like an easy fix, though. When owners take their cars to their Toyota dealers, mechanics will apply sealant and install a cover to the air conditioning condenser unit housing. Toyota says that free repair should fix the problem.
Even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was closed during the government shutdown, automakers have proceeded with recalls without them. Toyota's appears to have just happened to fall on the day that NHTSA, which oversees recalls, is reopening.