Toyota offers a range of safety systems, such as the Star Safety System and Toyota Safety Sense, on many of its models. In addition to these systems, some Toyota models are equipped with Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) features. These two systems work together to provide the driver with additional visibility and awareness of surrounding vehicles that may not be visible in the driver’s line of sight. By acting as an extra “pair of eyes,” the BSM with RCTA can help prevent collisions with other vehicles while driving on the highway or backing up in a parking lot.
How does Toyota Rear Cross Traffic Alert work?
Toyota Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) is a safety feature that helps drivers back out of parking spaces or driveways by alerting them to the presence of vehicles or pedestrians approaching from the sides of the vehicle. If the Rear Cross Traffic Alert system experiences a malfunction, it could potentially increase the risk of a collision. The RCTA system is activated automatically when the vehicle is shifted into Reverse and is designed to function when the vehicle is backing up at speeds up to 5 mph and when an approaching vehicle is traveling at speeds between approximately 5 to 18 mph.
If the Toyota Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) Off light is illuminated and accompanied by a buzzing sound, this indicates that there is a malfunction and the RCTA feature is not functioning properly. If the RCTA Off light is illuminated without the accompanying buzzing sound, it means that the feature is temporarily unavailable. It is important to have any malfunction with the Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety system on your vehicle diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. Either take the vehicle to the dealer or mechanic or use the YOUCANIC full system scanner to run a health check on the vehicle yourself.
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
The Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) is a safety feature that uses radar sensors mounted in the rear bumper to detect vehicles in the driver’s blind spot. When a vehicle is detected in the blind spot, the BSM system illuminates a warning indicator on the side mirror on the door. If the driver activates the turn signal while the warning indicator is illuminated, the mirror indicator will flash, and a beep will be heard. The BSM system is designed to function when surrounding vehicles travel at speeds above ten mph and can be enabled or disabled as desired.
Both the Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) systems use the same radar sensors that are installed in the rear bumper to detect other vehicles approaching the driver’s vehicle in adjacent lanes.
Therefore, when one system malfunctions, it will affect the operation of the other system, and you end up with both warning lights on the dashboard. The following are common causes that cause blind spot malfunction and rear cross-traffic alert warnings.
- Previous accident – Sometimes, even a minor bumper accident in a parking lot. The vehicle owner will often not even be aware that another vehicle bumped into their Toyota when pulling out of a parking lot.
- Battery– Weak or dead car battery – Low voltage can trigger fault codes in the BSM module.
- Radar Sensor Damaged radar sensor behind the rear bumper.
- Obstructed Sensors – If the sensors for the rear cross-traffic alert system are obstructed, the system may not function correctly. For instance, if you are parked close to a wall that blocks the left sensor, the system may not detect approaching vehicles from the left. It is important to ensure that the sensors for this safety feature are not blocked to ensure that the system can function properly.
- Poor Repairs – Previous repairs were not completed correctly.
- Fuse – Blown fuse for the BSM module.
Use a good scanner to read the fault codes from the BSM module. Read the codes from both blind spot monitor master and slave contorl units. The fault codes will point you in the right direction as why you are getting BSM and RCTA warnings. Or simple run a quick scan to take a look at the overall health of the vehicle.
If the Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) systems are not functioning properly, it is possible that the rear radar sensors behind the bumper may have moved or jostled loose, causing a connection issue. Both systems use the same hardware, including the radar units located in the corners of the rear bumper.
Radar sensors are installed in the corners of the rear bumper that are used by the Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) systems. If these systems are not functioning properly, it is possible that there is a defect with the sensors or that the car has been in an accident and the repairs were not completed correctly. It is also worth checking the 12v battery to ensure that it is not weak, as this can sometimes cause strange issues. I hope this helps and good luck with troubleshooting the issue.”
Can you drive a Toyota if Blind Spot and RCTA malfunction or unavailable come on?
The vehicle can still be driven, but remember that the blind spot and cross-traffic warning will not work when backing up. It is possible to drive a Toyota if the blind spot monitoring system is not functioning, as long as you, the driver, take appropriate precautions. This may include using the vehicle’s side mirrors and looking over the shoulder to check for vehicles in the blind spot before changing lanes or merging. However, it is important to remember that the blind spot monitoring system is designed to provide additional visibility and awareness for the driver. Its absence may increase the risk of a collision.
How to Turn On/Off Toyota Blind Spot Monitor & Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
In many Toyota vehicles, the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) systems can be turned on and off through the Multi-Information Display (MID). To do this, go to the MID’s Settings screen, find the BSM setting, and then toggle it on or off as desired.
- Use the Left/Right Arrows on the Steering Wheel to Select the Gear Icon
- Use the Up/Down Arrows to Select the Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Press OK
- Use the Up/Down Arrows to Select On/Off
- Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Will Remain On When You Start Your Toyota
Please note that on Toyota vehicles, the BSM and RCTA systems may not be able to be enabled or disabled individually. On some vehicles, a dedicated physical button on the dashboard may be used to enable or disable the BSM system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are blind spot sensors and parking sensors the same?
The rear cross-traffic alert system sensors are typically located on each side of the vehicle near the rear bumper. They are designed to use either radar or ultrasonic waves to detect the presence of other vehicles. These sensors are installed behind the rear bumper. Do not confuse the radar sensors with the round button like the sensor on the rear bumper used for parking aid. The parking aid sensors and radar sensors are not the same. The radar sensor behind the bumper is used to detect the presence of vehicles approaching from the sides of the vehicle to help the driver avoid collisions when backing up.
What does a rear cross-traffic alert mean on a Toyota?
The Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) system is designed to help drivers when backing up by using the radar sensors from the Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system to detect cross-traffic approaching from either side of the vehicle. When the RCTA system detects an approaching vehicle, it will notify the driver with an audio alert and a flashing indicator on the side mirrors. The vehicle’s backup camera system or multimedia display will also show an indicator to signal the approaching vehicle’s direction.
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