Tag Archive: Toyota


By YOSHIO TAKAHASHI

TOKYO —Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it will recall a total of 2.77 million vehicles world-wide to fix shaft and water pump defects, just a month after the company’s biggest recall for a single part, in a move that may once again dent its reputation for quality after the massive recalls two years ago.

Recalls don’t necessarily hurt a company’s sales in the long term. Still, vehicle reliability plays a large part in the strength of Toyota and successive large recalls could negatively affect its brand image, as seen in a series of serious glitches by the car maker in 2009 and 2010 when it came under harsh criticism for its slow response to global recalls. Toyota has since then aimed for quick responses to fix defects as it strives to regain customers’ trust.

Of the 2.77 million vehicles in the latest recall, 2.76 million vehicles in 10 models including the Corolla and the Avensis, produced between August 2000 and December 2011, will be recalled due to a defect in the shaft connecting the steering wheel to the gearbox, a Toyota spokeswoman said.

The company will also recall a further 630,000 vehicles in five models such as the second-generation Prius and the FCHV-adv fuel-cell vehicle, built between May and September 2011, to repair a defect in the water pump used in the hybrid system, the spokeswoman said.

In all, 620,000 vehicles have both the shaft and water pump defects, including the second-generation Prius, the spokeswoman said.

There have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to these faulty parts, she added.

The latest glitches follow a global recall of 7.4 million vehicles by Toyota last month in the company’s largest recall to date for a single part.

This is an unwelcome setback for Toyota after the Japanese car maker last week reported solid quarterly profits and lifted its profit forecast for the current business year. The company has been bouncing back from the earthquake and tsunami in March last year, despite faltering sales in China on the back of a consumer backlash amid the territorial disputes between Beijing and Tokyo.

On the Tokyo stock exchange, Toyota shares ended Wednesday down 0.8% at ¥3,060, their lowest for the day. The benchmark Nikkei 225 finished nearly flat, rising 0.04%.

To fix the defective shaft that might disable the steering function, Toyota will recall 1.51 million vehicles in Japan, 669,000 in the U.S. and 496,000 in Europe, with the rest of the affected vehicles in Australia, the Middle East, Asia and other markets. The pump glitch, which might cause the vehicles to be unable to run, affects 350,000 vehicles in the U.S.; 175,000 in Japan; 83,000 in Europe; and the rest in other markets.

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