Toyota recalls 320,000 vehicles for front side airbag problem

Toyota yesterday recalled 320,000 vehicles for front side airbag programming problems.

Although it seems as if the Takata inflator issue is the only reason for which carmakers are pulling back vehicles now, every so often an airbag-related recall occurs that has nothing to do with the embattled airbag manufacturer. In such an action, Toyota yesterday recalled 320,000 2003-06 vehicles for front side airbag deployment flaws.

According to Automotive News, the front side airbag control module needs a programming update. Since it is a module, a dealer will have to replace it to with a new device to change the code. The company said that the “improper programming” can result in seatbelt pretensioners and airbags activating improperly after the vehicle starts. This raises the risk of injury.

Cindy Knight, a spokesperson for the automaker, said Toyota has received reports of airbag deployments that have resulted in a number of minor injuries, including scratches and ringing ears. Toyota owners will be notified by mail of the recall. Dealerships will replace the control module with “one which has … improved programming” for free.

The recall affects the following models:

Knight indicated the defective modules were supplied by Toyota subsidiary Denso. Denso is a member of the Toyota Group and is 22 percent owned by Toyota.

In another airbag-related recall last week, Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division, recalled 6,000 new Lexus RX350 and RX450h crossovers. Equipped with driver’s knee airbags, the Lexus models have devices that “may not have been properly manufactured.”

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