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.