Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recall Roundup: Lexus IS Windshield Wipers; Toyota Corolla/Matrix Airbag Modules

Toyota is recalling about 752,000 Corolla and Matrix cars for issues with their airbag control modules and 270,000 Lexus ISs for an issue that could break their front windshield wipers. The two separate problems are the latest in a series of large recalls to hit Toyota in recent months.

The Problem: The Corolla and Matrix’s airbag control module is prone to interference from other car parts and short-circuiting. If a short circuit occurs in one of the module’s circuit boards and generates enough heat, it could warp or otherwise damage the airbag control module. If that happens, it could trigger the front airbags, the seat belt pretensioners, or both. If this happens outside of an actual crash, it could cause injury or make it difficult to drive the car.

The Fix: Toyota will add something called an electrical signal filter to the module, which should prevent interference and short circuits. Toyota will notify owners of the affected cars with a letter “in the near future,” and the repairs are expected to take about an hour to complete. The service will be free of charge. Customers can call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 or go to for more information.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 752,000 2003 and 2004 Corolla and Matrix vehicles.

Lexus is recalling select 2006-2012 IS sedans for issues with the front windshield wipers.

The Problem: The IS’ front wiper arm nuts may not be sufficiently tight. If the nut is loose and the wipers are buried under a heavy load of snow, the wipers could not work.

The Fix: Toyota will replace the nuts and tighten them, in a repair that will take about 30 minutes to complete. The repair is free of charge, and Lexus will notify affected car owners with a letter. Customers can also call Lexus at 1-800-255-3987 or visit for more information.

Number of Vehicles Potentially Affected: 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles made between 2006 and 2012.

Sources: Toyota, Reuters