Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) has announced a significant recall affecting a range of Lexus and Toyota vehicles from the 2020 to 2022 model years. This recall, necessitated by a defect in the Occupant Classification System (OCS) sensor, underscores a critical safety issue that could potentially prevent the deployment of the front passenger airbag.
The recall spans a variety of models, including:
- Lexus ES (2020-2021)
- Lexus ES Hybrid (2020-2022)
- Lexus RX and RX Hybrid (2020-2021)
- Toyota Avalon and Avalon Hybrid (2020-2021)
- Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid (2020-2022)
- Toyota Corolla, Highlander, and their Hybrid variants (2020-2021)
- Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid (2020-2021)
- Toyota Sienna Hybrid (2021)
The issue originates from the Occupant Classification System sensors located in the front passenger seat. These sensors play a pivotal role in the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), determining the deployment of the front passenger airbag based on the occupant load. A defect has been identified wherein, during production, the sensor’s Printed Circuit Board (PCB) became deformed. This deformation can cause a crack in a capacitor, leading to moisture intrusion over time and resulting in a short circuit.
The malfunctioning of these sensors poses a significant risk. In the event of a short circuit, the SRS warning lamp and the “Passenger Airbag OFF” lamp will illuminate, accompanied by a message on the Multi-Information Display (MID). The most concerning consequence is that the front passenger airbag may not deploy in certain crashes, markedly increasing the risk of injury to the occupant.
To address this issue, Toyota dealers will conduct inspections and replace the sensor where necessary. The recall is comprehensive in its scope, and owner notification letters are expected to be dispatched starting February 4, 2024.
Toyota has assigned the numbers 23TB15/23TA15 for Toyota and 23LB03/23LA03 for Lexus vehicles to this recall. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has registered this recall under campaign number 23V-865.
This recall by Toyota highlights the intricate nature of modern automotive safety systems and the critical importance of their proper functioning. Owners of the affected vehicles are urged to heed the recall notice and have their vehicles inspected and repaired as necessary to ensure their safety and that of their passengers.
Toyota and Lexus have announced that they will be reaching out to owners of specific vehicle models due to a critical problem related to the electrical connection inside the steering column. This issue has the potential to disable the driver’s side airbag, leading to non-compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for Occupant Crash Protection.
The problem first came to Toyota’s attention in May 2023 when they were contacted by the spiral cable assembly supplier. The supplier informed Toyota about an ongoing investigation into the manufacturing process, which revealed contamination in the washing station for specific spiral cable components. As a consequence, a poor welding condition could occur between the Flexible Flat Cable (FFC) and the bus bar, which affects connectivity to various controls on the steering wheel. Extensive testing conducted by the supplier between late-May and late-June indicated that the FFC might detach from the bus bar at the weak weld connection area.
As per the defect report, the steering column assembly in the affected vehicles contains electrical connections to the driver’s airbag module housed within a spiral cable assembly, including the FFC. In cases where the FFC is inadequately welded to the spiral cable’s bus bar, there is a risk of the FFC separating, resulting in one or more open circuits linked through the FFC. This separation specifically impacts the circuit responsible for connecting the driver’s airbag module. If connectivity is lost, the SRS warning light will activate, and the driver’s airbag may be deactivated, failing to deploy in a crash scenario that necessitates its activation. Consequently, this raises the likelihood of driver injury in the event of a crash.
The vehicles affected include:
|2023-2024 Lexus NX Hybrid
|2023-2024 Lexus NX250
|2023-2024 Lexus NX350
|2023 Lexus RX Hybrid
|2023 Lexus RX350
|2023 Lexus RX500H
|2023 Toyota Corolla
|2023 Toyota Corolla Cross
|2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
|2023 Toyota Highlander
|2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
|2023 Toyota Tacoma
Dealers will inspect and replace the spiral cable assembly as necessary. Toyota’s number for this recall is 23TA08, Lexus’ number for this recall is 23LA02 and the NHTSA campaign number is 23V-480.
Toyota will be contacting the owners of certain Toyota and Lexus vehicles because of a problem affecting engine and engine cooling. The subject vehicles are equipped with 2.5L 4 cylinder engines that may have been produced with engine blocks with high porosity levels.
According to the defect report, these porous engine blocks could crack and leak internally and/or externally causing the engine to overheat and possible internal mechanical damage. There is also an increased risk of an engine fire if oil leaks should come in contact with an ignition source.
Drivers may be alerted of a problem through engine noises, smoke, illuminated engine warning lights and an audible warning chime.
|2020 Lexus ES300H
|2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid
|2020 Toyota Camry
|2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid
|2019-2020 Toyota RAV4
|2019-2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Dealers will inspect the engine and engine block, replacing them as necessary. Toyota’s number for this recall is 20TA04. Lexus’ number for this recall is 20LA02. The NHTSA campaign number is 20V-064.
The owners of certain 2017 Lexus ES350 sedans will be contacted by the manufacturer regarding a problem affecting the steering system. According to the defect report, a lock nut which secures the right hand side tie rod assembly to the steering gear assembly may have not been properly tightened during the assembly process. If the nut loosens drivers could experience nose from the steering or the vehicle may drift while driving. If the problem is not repaired, the tie rod could separate completely, resulting in loss of steering control.
Dealers will inspect the lock nut and if it is found loose, replace the lock nut, steering gear assembly, and tie rod assembly. Owners wanting more information about the problem may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota’s number for this recall is HLC and the NHTSA campaign number is 17V-415.
Toyota will be asking the owners of certain 2006-2011 Toyota RAV4 and 2010 Lexus HS 250 Hybrid vehicles to return to their dealership to repair a problem affecting the rear suspension system. During a rear wheel alignment, improperly tightened alignment nuts could result in damage to the threaded portion of the rear suspension arm assembly. If the problem is not corrected, the damage could result in separation of the arm and an abrupt change in vehicle alignment. Continue reading
Toyota will be contacting the owners of certain Toyota and Lexus vehicles about problems affecting airbags and the emissions control system.
Last Tuesday, Toyota announced that certain 2010-2012 Toyota Prius and Lexus CT200H cars could have air bag inflators with small cracks in the welds. The problem could lead to the separation of the inflator chambers and an increased risk of injury to occupants.
The automaker announced on Wednesday, that approximately 2.87 million cars may have a fault in the emissions control system. Over time the problem could lead to fuel leaks and an increased chance of a vehicle fire. Certain 2006-2015 Prius, Auris and Corolla models are affected. Continue reading
The owners of certain Toyota and Lexus cars will be receiving an interim notification for a problem affecting the Pre-Collision System (PCS). According to reports, the vehicles involved could have a PCS that may interpret a steel road joint or steel plate in the road surface as another vehicle or obstacle in its path. This could cause the system activate, apply brakes, tighten seat belts, and illuminate a PCS warning. Continue reading
Toyota will be asking the the owners of certain 2015 Lexus NX200 SUV’s to return to their dealerships for repairs affecting the braking and stability of their vehicles. According to the defect report, the affected vehicles are equipped with an Anti-Lock Braking system (ABS), Traction Control System (TRAC), and a Vehicle Stability Control System (VCS) which are controlled by the ABS actuator. Continue reading