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Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), Asia’s largest automaker, said it will recall 2.77 million vehicles worldwide after detecting faults in the steering and water-pump systems of some of its gasoline and hybrid vehicles.
The Prius hybrid and Corolla compact sedans are among the 14 models subject to inspection and repair, Naoto Fuse, a spokesman for the Toyota City, Japan-based company, said by phone today. The carmaker will recall 1.52 million vehicles in Japan and 1.25 million vehicles overseas, including 670,000 Prius vehicles in the U.S., Toyota said in separate statements on its websites today.
The recall is the second in as many months for Toyota and comes as President Akio Toyoda pushes to rebuild the company’s reputation for quality after calling back more than 10 million vehicles in 2009 and 2010 for defects associated with unintended acceleration. Last month, Toyota announced it will recall 7.43 million vehicles for a possible flaw that could lead the power- window switch to melt or catch fire. According to documents filed with U.S. regulators, it first learned of that defect in 2008.
“The number of vehicles being recalled is smaller than those from last month,” Satoshi Yuzaki, Tokyo-based general manager at Takagi Securities Co. said by phone today. “Unless the defects turn out to be very complicated, the cost for the recalls shouldn’t affect their earnings too much.”
Toyota said it hasn’t received any reports of crashes and injuries resulting from the faults. Fuse, the company spokesman, declined to comment on the projected cost for the recall.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which fined Toyota $16.4 million in 2010 for delaying recalls related to unintended acceleration, is in contact with the company about the latest recall, Lynda Tran, an agency spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
“While NHTSA is unaware of any deaths or injuries related to the concern identified as part of the recall, the agency will continue to monitor the issue and will take action as warranted,” she said.
In today’s recall, a possible defect in the steering system may cause “knocking or rattling and possibly a reduction in steering response.” The flaw in the hybrid system involves the electric water in the water pump, which may stop functioning, the company said.
Repairs should take an hour to complete for the steering shaft and no more than 90 minutes to replace the pump, the automaker said.
Toyota fell 0.8 percent to 3,060 yen as of the close of trading in Tokyo today. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average was little changed.
Toyota’s American depositary receipts, each equal to two ordinary shares, fell 1 percent to $77.06 at 11:40 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange trading.
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