TOYOTA has issued a recall for roughly 5,000 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h crossovers from the 2016 model year.
The company said the driver’s knee airbag module on those vehicles may not have been properly manufactured. As a result, the device may not properly deploy during a collision, which could increase the risk of injury to drivers.
This issue is not related to the ongoing recall of Takata airbags, which now affects around 24 million vehicles in the US. While the official Takata recall list includes several Toyota models, it contains only one Lexus: the 2002-2007 Lexus SC.
Toyota says that owners of affected Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h models will be notified by mail. After receiving those recall notices, owners will be able to take their vehicles to Lexus dealers, who will inspect and, if necessary, replace the driver’s knee airbag. There’s no charge for the fix.
US auto safety regulators said this week that Takata Corp had declared 5.1 million US vehicles defective, as the company disclosed an 11th death could be linked to a faulty airbag.
Most of the vehicles mentioned in numerous previous recalls involving Takata air bags have been older models, but the new recalls include some 2014 models.
The Japanese company said newer vehicles remain under “investigation and could be subject to recall at a later date.”
The newly released documents show that regulators may prod automakers to recall recent models.
That could greatly increase the total number of vehicles recalled, which in the United States now stands at about 24 million involving about 28 million Takata air bag inflators.
Ford was among the first to react to Takata’s announcement. A 2006 Ford Ranger was involved in a December 22 crash that killed the driver when a Takata air bag inflator caused the bag to rupture, sending shrapnel into the vehicle.
A similar airbag inflator was involved in a fatal rupture of a Honda model in Malaysia in 2014, killing a woman and prompting a worldwide recall by Honda Motor Co.
Takata said in a document released on Tuesday that there was another rupture of a similar inflator in August in India in a 2007 Honda Civic, but it is not clear if the rupture caused the death of the driver. That could be the 11th death worldwide attributed to defective Takata inflators.
Nine deaths related to Takata air bags have occurred in the United States. The death in the Ford Ranger is the first not to involve a car made by Honda.
The brands involved in the new Takata inflator recalls include Honda, BMW AG, Volkswagen Group’s Volkswagen and Audi brands, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Sprinter van brands, Mazda Motor Corp, and Saab.