May 2, 2008 / 9:02 PM / 10 years ago

Toyota recalls 90,000 Highlanders over seat belts

DETROIT (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp is recalling 90,000 model year 2008 Highlander and Highlander hybrid sport utility vehicles due to potential problems with securing child safety seats in third row seats.

The 2008 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid debuts during the Chicago Auto Show, February 7, 2007. REUTERS/John Gress

The locking mechanism on the seat belts apparently cannot secure properly when certain rear-facing child safety seats are used, which could cause the child seats to move, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported on Friday.

"As such, this could discourage the use of a child restraint and in the event of a crash, the child may not be adequately protected, possibly resulting in injury," the NHTSA said in a statement on its Web site,

The problem was discovered by NHTSA during compliance testing on one type of two-piece rear-facing child safety seat and has not resulted in any accidents or injuries, Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong said.

The seat belt failed to lock properly during testing, which could result in shifting during normal driving, but the belt would still lock securely during an accident, Kwong said.

Toyota will notify owners of the vehicles by letter of the recall in early June, he said. The component will be replaced without charge.

Reporting by David Bailey, Editing by Toni Reinhold

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