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Toyota recalls over 3M cars for two airbag issues

Two separate recalls involve faulty Takata airbags and bad ECUs.

2019 Toyota Corolla
More airbag woes for Toyota.

Toyota owners, watch the mailbox in the coming months because over 3 million vehicles are part of two separate recalls related to airbag woes.

On Tuesday, the Japanese automaker announced the larger of the two recalls. It covers 2.9 million vehicles in the US, and another 500,000 cars around the world. In documents Toyota filed with NHTSA, it said the issue comes from an electronic control unit that may "not have adequate protection against certain electrical noise that can occur in certain crashes, such as severe underride crashes."

In translation, the ECU may not tell the airbags to deploy, or they may only partially deploy due to interference. Of course, airbags that don't deploy increase the risk and severity in the event of a crash.

The vehicles covered in this recall are the 2011-2019 Corolla, 2011-2013 Matrix, 2012-2018 Avalon and the 2013-2018 Avalon Hybrid. Toyota said it already has a fix for this problem, which will see a technician install an "electrical noise filter" between the airbag control module and the wiring harness at no cost to owners. Vehicle owners should start receiving notification of the recall in mid-March.

As for the second recall, Toyota issued a release on Wednesday declaring another 139,000 vehicles in the US will be recalled for Takata airbag-related problems. It's the same old unfortunate song and dance in this scenario. Affected cars include the 1998-2000 RAV4, 1998-1999 RAV4 EV, 1998-1999 Celica and 1997-1998 Supra. These cars house airbags with inflators from Takata that could rupture during deployment and spew the passengers with shrapnel in the event of a crash.

Toyota said it's still investigating the latest Takata issue and does not have a remedy yet, but it will notify vehicle owners in late March. The automaker declined to comment further.

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