Defective Airbags Lead to Toyota Corolla, Lexus Recall

Toyota announced on Wednesday it is recalling more than 1 million vehicles, including Toyota Corolla and Lexus IS sedans, due to problems with airbags and windshield wipers. 

The Toyota recall affects 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles from the 2003-2004 model years and about 270,000 Lexus IS sports sedans from the 2006-2013 model years. The same defective airbags in the Corolla and Corolla Matrix also affects some 136,000 Pontiac Vibe vehicles using the same part, according to a recall report (PDF) by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recalled Corolla, Corolla Matrix and Pontiac Vibe vehicles could develop a short in the supplemental restraint system (SRS) circuits because they were made with defective application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). This can cause an abnormal current flow and increased heat that could damage the circuits and cause the airbags to inadvertently deploy. The problem has been linked to two accidents and 18 injuries.

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The airbag recall affects 603,936 Toyota Corolla vehicles from model years 2003 and 2004, 148,024 Toyota Corolla Matrix vehicles from model year 2004, and 135 General Motors Pontiac Vibe vehicles from model years 2003 and 2004. All of the affected vehicles have an airbag control module manufactured by TRW Automotive of Livonia, Michigan.

The Lexus recall involves the front wipers on about 270,000 Lexus IS sports sedans from model years 2006 through the beginning of 2013. Toyota warns that the wiper arm nut on the wipers may not be tight enough, which could cause them to become disabled if their movement is restricted by an external load, like trying to move heavy snow off the windshield.

Toyota’s recall notice states that owners of affected vehicles will receive a mail notification sometime in the near future. The Toyota vehicles can then be taken to a Toyota or Lexus dealer for free repairs. Consumers with questions can visit the company website at or call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at (800) 331-4331, or for Lexus vehicles they can go to or call Lexus Customer Satisfaction at (800) 255-3987.

General Motors will notify owners of affected Pontiac Vibe owners by mail. They will be allowed to take their vehicles to a General Motors dealer for free repairs. GM customers with questions can call (800) 620-7668.

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