Toyota Motor Sales has recalled two new Lexus models because of a potential problem with air bags, the company said Wednesday. Both vehicles, the Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h, are from the 2016 model year. Read on for information about how to determine whether your car was affected.
This particular airbag problem was unrelated to a much bigger, ongoing scandal dating back to November 2014 and involving faulty Takata airbags, which so far has affected at least 30 million vehicles in the U.S. made by 10 different automakers, not just Toyota. Takata revealed this week that an 11th death could be linked to one of its flawed air bags, which in some cases have exploded and shot shrapnel into passengers upon deployment. Those air bags were situated in the front of cars, on the passenger side or the driver's side, or both.
The models recalled by Toyota Wednesday were equipped with potentially faulty air bags supplied by Japanese company Gosei, Automotive News reported. The problem with those air bags, which were on the driver's side at knee level, was that they "may not have been properly manufactured," Toyota said, and as a result could "increase the risk of injury in a crash."
Lexus dealers would inspect and replace the air bag if necessary, free of charge, Toyota said. The company recalled approximately 5,000 vehicles, although that number is subject to change, it noted.
Toyota said all owners of the affected Lexus models, which were redesigned for 2016, would be notified by first-class mail, but those who prefer not to wait for snail mail can also check online to see if their cars are affected. They should visit Toyota's recall site and enter their vehicle identification number, or VIN, to see whether they're affected, or visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website and check their vehicle identification number there.