Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Originally Published: October 15, 2014 3:07 AM
Modified: October 15, 2014 4:26 AM

Toyota recalls 1.67 million Toyota, Lexus cars for 3 separate defects

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. today said it is recalling a total 1.67 million vehicles globally in a voluntary move to address three separate defects including a faulty brake master cylinder that could hinder the brake's performance.

Toyota said it was not aware of any crashes, injuries or deaths resulting from the defects.

Some 1.05 million vehicles will be recalled in Japan and 615,000 overseas, covering Toyota models Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah, Voxy, Corolla Rumion and Auris, as well as Lexus models including the IS, GS and LS sedans.

Toyota is recalling about 802,000 Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah and Voxy models manufactured between June 2007 and June 2012 to replace a rubber seal ring in the brake master cylinder to prevent brake fluid from leaking. If brake fluid has already leaked, the brake booster will be replaced.

A second recall of about 759,000 vehicles globally, including 423,000 in the United States, will fix faulty fuel delivery pipes that could, in the worst-case scenario, cause a fire through a fuel leak. Some of these vehicles are also subject to the first recall.

Toyota will also recall in Japan 190,000 front-wheel drive Corolla Rumion and Auris models built between October 2006 and October 2014 that are not equipped with an idling feature to fix a defective fuel evaporative emission control unit.

The safety campaign is Toyota's fourth this year involving at least 1 million vehicles as the auto industry responds to scrutiny over tardy recalls. General Motors Co. has called back a record 30 million cars and trucks this year in North America, while Toyota has dealt with renewed attention to safety after recalling more than 10 million vehicles in 2009 and 2010 for defects related to unintended acceleration.

"With the lessons learned from past recalls in North America, Toyota keeps showing the attitude to proactively recall and have everything under control before any serious accident happens," said Takashi Aoki, a Tokyo-based fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co. "I don't think this recall would damage the brand image, or cause the shares to decrease, as there were no injuries, fatalities or crashes."

Carmakers have faced heightened global scrutiny on how quickly they share information with regulators and the public since a massive recall crisis in 2009 battered Toyota's reputation and sales.

Most vehicle recalls are issued on a voluntary rather than mandatory basis.

Toyota recalled 6.39 million vehicles globally in April in its second-largest recall announcement ever. Two months later, the company issued a recall of almost 2.3 million vehicles globally for faulty airbag inflators that have also plagued other car makers.

U.S. monitor

Today's latest recall is the first major global campaign by Toyota since David Kelley, a New York-based partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and former U.S. Attorney, was appointed by the U.S. Justice Department in August to supervise the carmaker's safety procedures. Kelley will review Toyota's policies and verify the accuracy of its public statements for three years as part of the automaker's $1.2 billion settlement for the unintended- acceleration recalls.

Toyota has now recalled about 5.3 million vehicles in the U.S. market this year, according to its U.S. media website.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month said it would renew scrutiny of claims involving unintended acceleration. As many as 1.69 million Toyota Corollas with model years from 2006 to 2010 could be subject to investigation depending on the regulator's evaluation of an owner's claim of unintended "low-speed surging."

Toyota in June expanded a 14-month-old recall of more than 2 million vehicles for faulty air bags after supplier Takata Corp. told customers further fixes may be needed. The carmaker added about 650,000 vehicles in Japan including Corolla cars to the safety campaign.

Toyota has sought to repair its reputation for quality after the recalls contributed to the company losing its title as the world's top-selling automaker in 2011 to GM. The company regained leadership in each of the last two years and clung to its lead over Volkswagen AG through the first half of 2014.

Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report