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Originally published January 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM | Page modified January 30, 2013 at 10:08 PM

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Toyota recalls a million vehicles for air bag, wiper issues

Toyota told the federal government the company was recalling the 2003-04 Corolla, Corolla Matrix and Pontiac Vibe, a mechanical sibling of the Matrix, because of the air-bag problem.

The New York Times

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In two actions, Toyota is recalling more than 1 million vehicles worldwide, including 752,000 for air bags that could be set off by electronic interference, the automaker has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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

In a letter dated Wednesday, Toyota told the safety agency the company was recalling the 2003-04 Corolla, Corolla Matrix and Pontiac Vibe, a mechanical sibling of the Matrix, because of the problem.

The action includes almost 604,000 Corollas, 148,000 Matrix models and almost 136,000 Vibes, with the latter being recalled by General Motors.

Toyota told the agency the front air bags on those vehicles were susceptible to a short that could cause the bags to trigger without the vehicles being in an accident.

The automaker says it will install a noise filter to resolve the problem.

The second action covers about 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles.

Toyota says a nut on the windshield-wiper arm may not be tight enough and one or both wipers can stop moving if the arms face resistance, like pushing snow out of the way.

The recall covers the 2006-12 IS 250 and IS 350; 2010-12 IS 250C and IS 350C and 2008-11 IS-F models.

Toyota describes its actions as voluntary, but once an automaker is aware of a safety problem it must — within five business days — inform the agency of its plan for a recall or face a civil fine.

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 problems. Executives say they are not admitting fault. But they acknowledge the company is eager to put the recall crisis behind it.

Material from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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