WASHINGTON - Lexus Division is conducting two safety recalls of 1999 RX 300 sport wagons because of problems linked to high-tech features.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said about 23,000 of the vehicles are being recalled because headlights and taillights may not come on automatically as soon as they should in fading daylight.
Dealers are to install a modified electronic control unit with the proper sensitivity to low light, said Lexus spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell. She said all RX 300s have light switches with an automatic setting. The malfunctioning units do not interfere with the operation of daytime running lights, she added.
In the second recall, NHTSA said owners of about 6,500 two-wheel-drive RX 300s with traction control should return their vehicles to dealers to have rear brake tubes changed. The agency said a brake-line failure can cause a vehicle to feel unstable to the driver.
Hubbell said the problem is not with the traction-control system but with brake-line installation. Dual lines were installed parallel rather than in the intended crossing pattern. If a primary line fails, its backup is supposed to feed the opposite wheel, Hubbell said.
NHTSA, in its monthly compilation of safety recalls, also said BMW of North America Inc. is correcting two problems on some 1999 cars.
On about 2,100 cars, the insulation on the cable that runs from the generator to the starter is not thick enough and could wear away, causing a short, the agency said. Affected models are the 540i, 540iA sedan and wagon, 740i and 740iL.
Dealers are to wrap insulating tape on the cable where it is clipped to the generator and install a revised clip.
The other BMW problem involves the ring gear in the five-speed automatic transmission. It may fail and cause the loss of reverse, first, second and third gears. Affected models are 540iA sedan and wagon, 740i and 740iL.
The transmissions are to be replaced on 250 affected vehicles, NHTSA said.
Here are other recalls listed by NHTSA:
1995-99 RANGE ROVER
Problem: Transmission breather tube collects water that may freeze and force transmission fluid up dipstick tube onto hot engine parts.
Fix: Remove breather tube from inner fender, and cut a section of the hose at an angle to prevent water from collecting.
1998 DODGE NEON, PLYMOUTH NEON
Problem: Spot welds are missing from rear suspension cross member, which may cause structural cracks in car body.
Fix: Install rivets in place of missing welds.
1996-98 CHEVROLET ASTRO, GMC SAFARI WITH INTEGRATED CHILD SEATS
Problem: Missing springs in seat-belt retractor and/or child seat lever. The belt either will not pull out or will not lock in place.
Fix: Replace child seat.