Toyota Recalls 6.5 Million Cars for Wide Range of Problems

Toyota Motor Corp has initiated five separate recalls, impacting an estimated 6.39 million vehicles sold worldwide, due to a number of different problems, including faulty steering controls, windshield wiper motors, engine starters, and seat rails.  

The Toyota recalls were announced in Tokyo on Wednesday, following the auto maker’s assessment that the faults pose potential safety hazards for drivers. However, Toyota indicates that it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the recalled vehicles.

The recalls affect 27 Toyota models, as well as Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia vehicles, which were produced from April 2004 through August 2013. The automaker announced the vehicles being recalled are affected by one or more of the current five issues.

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Toyota announced 3.5 million vehicles are being recalled due to faulty spiral cables that could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned, potentially causing the air bags to fail in a crash. An additional 2.32 million three-door model vehicles are being recalled for a fault in the seat rails that may allow the seat to slide forward in a crash. The other recalls are for steering column brackets, windshield wiper motors, and engine starter defects.

Vehicles affected by the spiral cable recall are certain model RAV4, Corolla, Matrix, Yaris, Yaris Sedan, Highlander, Tacoma, Reiz, Hilux, Fortuner, Innova, Land Cruiser Prado, and Camrys assembled in Australia, as well as certain General Motors’ Pontiac Vibe vehicles. All affected vehicles were produced from April 2004 through December 2010. Vehicles affected by the seat rails are particular models of Scion xD, Urban Cruiser, Yaris and Yaris sedan produced from January 2005 through August 2010. Vehicles affected by the steering column brackets issues are Toyota Ist, Ractis, and Yaris models produced from September 2005 through February 2009. Vehicles affected by the engine starter defect are certain model Porte, Spade, Corolla Axio, Corolla Fielder, Auris, Ractis and Trezia produced from March 2012 through August 2013.

Toyota is still conducting an investigation to determine whether the defects stemmed from its suppliers or the issues were caused by a manufacturing process. The firm has also not disclosed the anticipated cost or repair process to solve the recalls.

In 2009, Toyota underwent a series of massive recalls that affected millions of vehicles due to problems with uncontrollable acceleration. A number of fatal accidents and other serious injuries were attributed to the problem, and the auto maker has paid billions to resolve many of the claims.

These latest recalls come amid increased scrutiny for the auto industry, following a General Motors recall impacting 2.6 million vehicles sold worldwide. The GM recall involved faulty ignition switches, which may cause the vehicle to suddenly shut off if heavy key chains are used or if the ignition is jarred, such as in an accident. If the vehicle shuts off, this may cause the airbags to fail to deploy. GM has faced sharp criticism after acknowledging that it has known about the problem for years, and more than 13 deaths may have been caused by the defective ignition switches.

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