Toyota recalling Toyotas, Lexuses

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TOKYO — Toyota is recalling 1.3 cars worldwide for faulty air bags and defective windshield wipers.

The move comes just days after Toyota regained its spot as the world’s No. 1 automaker from rival General Motors Co., with global vehicle sales that climbed to a record 9.748 million vehicles.

The company is recalling 907,000 cars, mostly Corollas, for the air bags, which can improperly inflate when electronic signals in the cars damage a chip in the part that controls the air bags.

It also is recalling 385,000 Lexus IS luxury cars with wipers that can get stuck if there is heavy snowfall.

Initially, the automaker had said there were no accidents related to either problem, but Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Naoto Fuse said Wednesday that two crashes were reported in the U.S. for the air bags. Toyota has confirmed 18 cases in the U.S. of abrasion-type injuries from the air bag problem, he said.

The automaker has received 46 reports of problems involving the air bags from North America, and one from Japan, and 25 reports of problems related to the windshield wipers.

As part of the air bag recall, Toyota is recalling 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars in the U.S. that were manufactured between December 2001 and May 2004. The part will be corrected to be able to block damaging signals, Fuse said.

The problem wipers affect three kinds of Lexus IS models, manufactured from May 2005 to October 2011, including 270,000 vehicles in the U.S. and nearly 17,000 vehicles in Canada.

Last month, Toyota agreed to pay more than $1 billion in the U.S. to settle lawsuits where vehicle owners said the value of their cars and SUVs plummeted after the company recalled millions of vehicles because of sudden-acceleration.


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