Toyota Motor is recalling almost 1.3m cars globally for two separate defects, including 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles in the US, to fix airbags that could be deployed inadvertently, the automaker said on Wednesday. The second recall is to check Lexus IS wipers.

It is the third Toyota recall since October to involve over 1m cars.

An IC chip in the airbag control unit can malfunction when it receives electrical interference from other parts in the car, causing the airbags to deploy when it is not necessary, Toyota spokesman Naoto Fuse told Reuters.

Toyota is also recalling the Corolla and Corolla Matrix in Canada and Japan, where the North American-made Matrix was exported as the Volz. The Japanese recall is for just over 6,100 units, according to Jiji Press.

The problem has caused minor injuries such as abrasions in 18 cases that have been reported, Fuse told Reuters. Two accidents have been reported by customers outside Japan, although Toyota has not been able to confirm them, he said.

Toyota will add an electrical signal filter to the airbag control module to the recalled vehicles - repairs expected to take an hour to hour-and-a-half, he said.

The spokesman declined to disclose the costs involved.

TRW Automotive Holding manufactured the airbag control unit in the vehicles although the problematic chip is supplied by another company, an employee at TRW's Toyota office told Reuters.

He declined to say where TRW buys the chips from.

The financial impact from the airbag recall is likely to be limited, possibly costing Toyota about JPY5bn (US$55m), Koichi Sugimoto, a senior analyst at BNP Paribas in Tokyo, told the news agency.

Toyota may ask suppliers to compensate, he added.

"While this cannot be ignored, this amount is not going to dent Toyota's operations and share prices are unlikely to be impacted much," he said.

Separately, Toyota will also recall 385,000 Lexus IS series models, including 270,000 in the US, over wiper problems, Fuse said.

A wiper arm securing nut may not be tight enough and the wiper may not work in some weather conditions including in snow.

Toyota will replace the nut in repairs that will take about 30 minutes, Fuse said.

In October, Toyota recalled 7.4m vehicles globally, to fix malfunctioning power window switches, and in November it recalled 2.8m for a steering glitch.

Show the press release

Toyota Announces Two Voluntary Safety Recalls of Certain 2003 and 2004 Corolla and 2006 Through Early 2012 Lexus IS Vehicles

TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 30, 2013 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS), will conduct two separate safety recalls involving approximately 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles and approximately 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles.

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.  In some instances, the front airbag(s) and/or seat belt pretensioners could inadvertently deploy. 

The second safety recall involves the front wipers on certain Lexus IS vehicles where the wiper arm nut might not be sufficiently tight.  If movement of the wipers is restricted by an external load, such as a buildup of heavy snow on the windshield, one or both of the wipers could become inoperative.

Owners of vehicles covered by these safety recalls will receive an owner notification letter via first class mail in the near future.  Any authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer will perform this recall at no charge to the vehicle owner.

Detailed information is available to customers at and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987).


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