CONSUMER

Toyota recalls 1 million vehicles over airbag sensor glitch

Dec 20, 2023, 3:00 PM

A Toyota dealership in Alberta, Canada, in October. (Artur Widak, NurPhoto, Getty Images)...

A Toyota dealership in Alberta, Canada, in October. (Artur Widak, NurPhoto, Getty Images)

(Artur Widak, NurPhoto, Getty Images)

(CNN) — Toyota is recalling about 1 million cars and SUVs in the United States due to a possible defect that could cause the passenger airbag to fail to deploy in a crash.

The recall involves 15 different 2020 and 2021 model year Toyota and Lexus models including the Toyota Camry, Rav4, Sienna and the Lexus RX350 and ES350. Lexus is Toyota’s luxury vehicle brand.

Specifically, the Occupant Classification System sensor that detects when someone is sitting in the front passenger seat could short circuit. In some of these vehicles the sensor was improperly manufactured.

The OCS sensor can roughly tell how heavy a person is, giving an indication of wether a front seat passenger is an adult or child. If a child is detected in the front passenger seat, the airbag might not deploy in a crash because the force of the airbag could injure someone so small.

A short circuit in the OCS sensor could cause the airbag to fail to deploy in incidents when it should, according to Toyota’s announcement. A Toyota spokesperson declined to say whether the automaker is aware of any injuries arising from this issue.

Owners of vehicles involved in the recall will be notified by Toyota by the middle of February, 2024, according to Toyota. Owners will be asked to bring the vehicle to a Toyota or Lexus dealer where the service department will inspect the sensor and replace it at no cost to owner.

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Toyota recalls 1 million vehicles over airbag sensor glitch