Toyota was plagued with massive recalls last year, but if their latest safety recall of over 1 million vehicles is any indication, the year 2013 won’t be much different.
Toyota will recall more than 750,000 Corolla and Matrix models, along with more than 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles. The two issues affecting both recalls are not related. The recalls affect 2003 and 2004 model year Corollas and Matrixes, as well as Lexus IS vehicles made between 2006-2012.
In the Toyota Corolla and Matrix recall, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that are susceptible to internal shorting may have been installed inside the airbag control module. If there is a short, heat will increase and the ASIC could be damaged, inadvertently deploying the front airbags or seat belt pretensioners.
The problem with the Lexus IS has to do with the front wipers. The wiper arm nut may not be tight enough, which could cause the wipers to stop working if a heavy load – like snow or debris buildup – weighs the wipers down.
Toyota has been no stranger to recalls over the past twelve months. Recently they’ve recalled large numbers of the Prius, Lexus HS 250h and Scion iQ. In October they recalled a whopping 2.5 million vehicles, the largest in the U.S. since 1996, for a faulty window switch that could lead to fires.
Toyota may be quicker with the recall trigger these days, in response to the scathing controversy that alleged they did not act fast enough to the Unintended Acceleration debacle of 2010. Ultimately, Toyota was cleared of any mechanical defects that may have caused their vehicles to ignore driver commands, but they were recently fined $17 million for responding after the mandated five-day period of learning about the issue.
Owners of the Toyota Corolla and Matrix, and Lexus IS vehicles affected by this most recent recall should receive a notification letter soon, and Toyota and Lexus dealers will perform maintenance free of charge.