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Toyota Recalls More Than One Million Vehicles

Toyota has announced a voluntary recall of a little more than one million vehicles. The recall covers two separate issues: one for malfunctioning air bags in the 2003 and 2004 Toyota Corolla and Matrix and the other for a problem with the windshield wipers on the 2006 through 2012 Lexus IS.

The recall impacts 752,000 Corolla and Matrix models from the 2003 and 2004 model years, as well as the Pontiac Vibe, a mechanic twin of the Matrix. General Motors is handling the Matrix in a separate recall.

In a press release, Toyota explains, "The airbag control module for the supplemental restraint system (SRS) in the Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles could have been manufactured with application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that are susceptible to internal shorting. These ASICs could experience an internal short that creates abnormal current flow and increased heat. If this occurs, there is a possibility that the ASIC could become damaged." Toyota says that damage could result in the air bags or seat belt pretensioners deploying accidentally in some cases.

Reuters writes that together, the two recall actions are "the third Toyota recall since October to involve more than a million cars, and it comes as the company tries to recover from a damaged reputation following a series of recalls between 2009 and 2011 that were related to unintended acceleration problems."

The second recall is on 270,000 Lexus IS models from the 2006 to 2012 model years, and includes the IS 250, 350, IS convertible and IS-F models. According to Toyota, part of the wiper arm may not be fastened tight enough, so the wiper can stop moving if it encounters resistance. 

The recalls are not the result of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The New York Times explains, "Toyota describes its actions as voluntary, but once an automaker is aware of a safety problem it must – within five business days – inform the agency of its plan for a recall or face a civil fine."

Toyota will be contacting owners of the affected vehicles by mail soon. Until then, if you have questions, you can call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus at 1-800-255-3987.

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