Toyota recalling 3.37mn vehicles over defects

(FILES) This file photo taken on January 10, 2012 shows the Toyota logo during the second press preview day at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. PHOTO: AFP / STAN HONDA

(FILES) This file photo taken on January 10, 2012 shows the Toyota logo during the second press preview day at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. PHOTO: AFP/STAN HONDA

Toyota said Wednesday it is recalling 3.37 million vehicles globally over a pair of defects, in the latest hit for a Japanese auto industry hit by fuel-efficiency scandals and an exploding airbag crisis.

The most affected models in Toyota’s recall include its Prius hybrid, Corolla sedan, and luxury Lexus brand, with the vehicles mostly sold in Japan, North America and Europe.

About half of the recalled vehicles, built between 2008 and 2012, have a problem with passenger and driver-side air bags that could see the safety device partially deploy and risk injury, Toyota said.

The firm said the airbags in question are not made by Japanese auto parts giant Takata, which is embroiled in an airbag defect scandal linked to at least 13 deaths and scores of injuries globally.

The other problem is tied to problems with a fuel emission control unit that could lead to cracks developing in the unit, Toyota added.

“As a result of this condition, the cracks could expand over time and, eventually, fuel may leak from these cracks when the vehicle has a full tank of gas,” it said.

No accidents or injuries have been reported in relation to either defect, it said.

About 2.87 million Toyota and Lexus brand cars are being recalled over the fuel tank defect, Toyota said, noting that some vehicles are subject to both recalls.

The world’s top automaker has forecast an extra 150 billion yen ($1.46 billion) in quality-related expenses for the fiscal year ending in March 2017.

Japan’s auto industry has been hammered by the Takata crisis and fuel-efficiency scandals involving Mitsubishi Motors and small-car maker Suzuki.

In recent years, major Japanese automakers have been forced to recalls millions of vehicles over various other defects.

Toyota is among more than a dozen car companies involved in the unprecedented recall of more than 100 million Takata airbags globally.

Takata is facing lawsuits, investigations and huge compensation costs over a defect that can send metal and plastic shrapnel from the airbag’s inflator canister hurtling toward drivers and passengers when deployed.

At least 13 people have died in accidents linked to the defect and scores more have been injured.




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