The Japanese automaker said the recall includes 2.9 million U.S. vehicles and covers 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon and 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid vehicles.
The vehicles may have an electronic control unit that doesn't have adequate protection against electrical noise that can occur in crashes, which could lead to incomplete or non-deployment of the air bags. It could also impede the operation of seat-belt pretensioners.
In most cases, the company said, Toyota dealers will install a noise filter between the airbag control module and its wire harness. In some cases, Toyota dealers may inspect the ECU to determine if the noise filter is necessary before installing it.
It’s possible that as many as eight people were killed when air bags didn’t inflate. U.S. safety regulators are investigating.
Toyota will notify owners by mail by mid-March.
Separately, Honda (HMC) - Get Report issued a recall for about 2.7 million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to replace potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators that might have been produced without the appropriate seals needed to deploy properly.
The air bags could also blow apart a metal canister and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers. Both conditions could cause serious injuries or death.
The recall covers certain Honda and Acura vehicles from the 1996 to 2003 model years. Replacement parts aren't yet available, and the company said repairs won't start for about a year.
The Takata airbags in this recall are of a different design than those included in previous Takata recalls.