toyota is recalling nearly 645,000 vehicles worldwide to fix an electrical problem that could stop airbags from inflating in a crash. the recall covers certain toyota prius, lexus rx and nx suvs, as well as some alphard, vellfire, siena, noah, voxy, esquire, probox, succeed, corolla, highlander, levin, and hilux models. all of the vehicles associated with the recall were produced between may 2015 and march 2016.
the automaker says the defect could create an open electrical circuit. this open circuit could set off an airbag warning light that would stop the side and front airbags from deploying during a crash. dealers will inspect serial numbers on sensors and, if necessary, replace them free of charge for vehicle owners. toyota will begin sending notifications by letter in late march.
this announcement comes on the heels of a recall issued earlier this month to replace defective takata airbag inflators in 601,000 toyota vehicles. this defect posed the risk of exploding inflators that could hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers.