Toyota Motor Sales USA said Wednesday that it will conduct two separate safety recalls involving approximately 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles and approximately 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles.
The automaker explained the airbag control module for the supplemental restraint system in the Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles from the 2003 and 2004 model-years could have been manufactured with application-specific integrated circuits that are susceptible to internal shorting.
Officials said these ASICs could experience an internal short that creates abnormal current flow and increased heat. If this occurs, the OEM indicated 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, according to the automaker
The second safety recall involves the front wipers on certain Lexus IS vehicles from the 2006 through 2012 model-years 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, officials said one or both of the wipers could become inoperative.
Toyota said 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 www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at (800) 331-4331 or www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction at (800) 255-3987).
Toyota had more recalls than any other manufacturer last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the automaker recalled 5,330,643 units in a dozen campaigns during 2012.
Next closest in the amount of vehicles recalled according to federal data was Honda, which asked for 3,363,343 units through 16 different campaigns.
The agency indicated that Ford had the most individual recall campaigns last year with a total of 24, which covered a total of 1,398,837 units. General Motors was next with 17 campaigns for 1,476,319 units.
While Toyota’s recalls covered more vehicles than the 2012 campaigns of all three domestic OEMs combined, senior market analyst of automotive insights Alec Gutierrez pointed out the badge still won Kelley Blue Book’s overall brand winner for the recently announced 2013 Best Resale Value Awards.
Furthermore, Toyota bounced back in 2012 to reclaim the global sales title with 9.75 million vehicles sold globally. After a handful of difficult years marred by recalls and natural disasters, Gutierrez explained how Toyota turned its business around so rapidly.
“Simply put, Toyota got back to the business of being Toyota,” Gutierrez said. “The brand focused on addressing recalls quickly to quell any concerns for ongoing reliability issues. Toyota focused on introducing new and redesigned vehicles that delivered superior fuel economy. The brand also continued to maintain discipline by minimizing incentive spending and fleet sales, which helped Toyota maintain its industry-leading position in terms of value retention.
“Looking ahead, we believe that Toyota is well positioned to maintain its leadership role in global sales, and continuing to challenge GM and Ford for the top sales spot in the United States,” he went on to say. “Toyota is in a solid position to continue to grow global sales volume, and based on its latest batch of redesigns and introductions, we believe that Toyota may give GM a run for its money in the race for U.S. sales supremacy.
“If Toyota continues to focus on reliability, fuel-efficiency and value retention, the brand should continue to grow both in the United States and abroad,” Gutierrez concluded.