Japanese automaker Toyota is recalling more than 1 million vehicles to correct problems with defective wiper blades and faulty airbags. The announcement, made through the Associated Press will apply to more than 900,000 Corrolas and 385,000 Lexus IS models sold in the United States and Japan.
The recall comes on the heels of recent news that Toyota settled the first of many wrongful death suits lodged against it due to problems involving sudden acceleration in its Camry models. The initial settlement stems from a lawsuit filed by the family of a Utah couple who died when their Camry accelerated suddenly while exiting a freeway. The car eventually hit a wall, killing the driver and passenger, and seriously injuring two other passengers.
In conjunction with that crash, a fiery crash involving a Lexus ES (which is built on the Camry frame) in California spawned a flurry of lawsuits alleging that Toyota had sold cars with defective equipment. Plaintiffs claimed that it failed to address problems with floor mats that could trap acceleration pedals, and that such a danger was an overriding factor in the fatal crashes.
In the midst of the wrongful death suits, other Camry owners brought suit claiming that the defects caused them significant economic harm, as the value of their vehicles plummeted. Toyota recently announced a $1 billion settlement to resolve these suits.
In the meantime, Toyota maintains that no injuries or accidents have spawned the latest recall. Instead, the automaker is merely responding to customer complaints about the windshield wipers and air bags.
Source: StlToday.com, Toyota recalls 1.29M vehicles for airbags, wipers, January 30, 2013