Toyota is recalling over 53,000 vehicles in North America to deal with an airbag problem that could prevent adequate occupant protection in a side impact crash, and possibly also a front crash.
The recall applies to the 2016 Prius and Lexus RX midsized crossover, and 2015-16 Lexus NX compact crossover — 49,000 in the United States and 4,570 in Canada.
In those vehicles, the airbag system sensors may have an open circuit develop over time, which would become evident to the driver when the airbag warning light illuminates. That would indicate that the side-impact airbags and the side air curtains might not deploy, with the chance that the front airbags might also not deploy.
In the instance of a non-deployment, occupants would naturally be at risk of injury in the event of a side-impact, rollover or front collision. Toyota is apparently aware of manufacturing timeline for sensors that are prone to the issue, and will have dealers inspect the sensor serial numbers and replace the sensors as needed. The company will send out notification letters to owners of affected vehicles in late March 2018.
Canadian owners can check on the status of their vehicles at www.toyota.ca/recalls or www.lexus.ca/recalls, or by calling (888) 869-6828 for Toyotas or (800) 265-3987 for Lexus vehicles.