Toyota Recalls Sienna and Lexus GS

Posted by at 8:22 am on May 22, 2014

Toyota Motor on Thursday recalled 370,000 Sienna minivans — most of those a second time — because the spare tire mounted under the vehicle might fall off and crash into following traffic.

And it recalled 10,500 2013-model Lexus GS 350 sedans because the cars, without warning or driver involvement, could suddenly apply the brakes and not illuminate the brake lights to warn following drivers.

In its third safety-flaw announcement Thursday, the big automaker said its dealers will have to reprogram airbag software on 2014 Highlander and Highlander hybrid crossover SUVs. The system can mistakenly classify all front seat passengers as small and light, meaning the airbags won’t inflate forcefully enough to protect larger riders.

Those so-called smart airbag systems, widely used by automakers, employ sensors that are supposed to judge the size and heft of the passenger, and adjust the airbag inflation accordingly.

Toyota says the airbag matter isn’t a recall, but instead is a “non-compliance” report, saying the vehicles don’t meet a federal safety standard.

Toyota says it knows of no accidents, injuries or deaths involving any of the three defects.

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