WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators are investigating a motorist’s report that the airbags in his 2008 Toyota Corolla failed to deploy when the vehicle hit a deer at 55 mph.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this week that the airbag probe could affect as many as 170,000 vehicles. The Corolla has been Toyota’s second-best selling model, after the Camry, in recent years.
“We will cooperate with NHTSA’s investigation,” Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said.
Since the fall of 2009, Toyota has recalled 19.2 million vehicles worldwide and more than 13.7 million in the United States to address safety complaints, most involving reports of unintended acceleration.
NHTSA’s investigation is in response to a petition filed in March by Fred and Susan Maynard, then of Williamsburg, Va.
The Maynards said they stuck a deer that bounded in front of their car as they were driving at night at 55 mph on a four-lane highway from Gettysburg, Pa., to Harrisburg, Pa., according to their letter, which was posted on NHTSA’s Web site.
The impact totaled the Corolla, Fred Maynard wrote. “The air bags failed!!” he wrote. “We had no protection.”
Neither of the Maynards was seriously injured. They couldn’t be reached for comment.