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HOUSE OF THE WEEK

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Toyota Recalls 7.43m Cars Over Power Window Defect


Toyota’s recovery has suffered a major setback, with the recall of more than 7m vehicles worldwide to fix faulty power window switches, after reclaiming the top spot as the world’s biggest car maker from General Motors and Volkswagen earlier in the year.

The company, which fought back following a number of difficulties in 2008, multiple recalls in 2009-10, and last year’s natural disasters in Japan and Thailand, now faces the biggest single recall in its history.
The car maker said the recall of 7.4m vehicles included 138,000 in the UK, but affected mainly the US, China and the rest of Europe.
Toyota said a fault meant the electric window switch in the driver’s door in some models may begin to stick or become inoperable. If customers tried to fix it with commercially available lubricants, it could melt the switch assembly.
The recall covers Toyota’s RAV4, Auris, Yaris and Corolla models built between September 2006 and December 2008, with repairs taking about 40 minutes.
A spokesman for Toyota UK declined to say how much the operation would cost, but said the programme would take months to complete. Affected customers will be contacted in the next six weeks to arrange a garage appointment.
No accidents or injuries have been linked to the fault, the company said, but the voluntary recall is a blow to Toyota, which has fought back from a series of difficulties since 2008.
Toyota recalled more than 10m cars in 2009-10 after reports of unintended acceleration, while last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand disrupted its supply lines.
After reclaiming the industry’s top spot for sales in the first half of the year, Toyota expects to sell 9.76m cars and light trucks globally this year, including the Daihatsu and Hino brands.
Yesterday’s announcement will affect 2.5m vehicles in the US and 1.4m in China, the company said. China accounts for around 12pc of its total sales.
Toyota was already facing a backlash in China, alongside other Japanese brands, due to rising nationalist tensions over a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo. The company saw China sales plummet 49pc in September to 44,100 vehicles against the same period last year.
Koichi Sugimoto, an analyst at BNP Paribas Securities in Tokyo, estimated the recall could cost at least 10bn yen (£80m). “Of course, 7m vehicles is a huge number, but it’s probably not going to be like last time when customers in the United States avoided buying Toyota cars. This sounds like a completely different scale from then,” he said.


Edited By Cen Fox Post Team
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