Business World

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Toyota recalls 7.5m cars over ‘smoking’ window switches

Yoko Kubota

TOYOTA has recalled almost 7.5 million cars worldwide to fix faulty power window switches, in the biggest single incident since Ford in 1996.

The move comes as Japan's biggest carmaker tries to rebuild trust after a series of recalls between 2009 and 2011 in which it pulled back around 10 million vehicles.



The cars include Yaris and Corolla models totalling 1.39 million vehicles in Europe, 2.47 million vehicles in the United States, as well as 1.40 million vehicles in China.



In 1996, Ford pulled back eight million vehicles to replace defective ignition switches that could have caused engine fires.



The power window switches can be repaired in about 40 minutes, the company said.



"The process to repair (the power window switch) is not an extensive one," spokeswoman Monika Saito said, adding that it would involve putting heat-resistant lubricant on the switches, or exchanging them.



Toyota declined to disclose how much the recall would cost, or how it might affect its earnings.



In Japan, Toyota is recalling about 459,300 vehicles, including the Vitz, produced between 2006 and 2008.



The firm is also recalling 650,000 vehicles in Australia and Asia, 490,000 vehicles in the Near and Middle East, 240,000 vehicles in Canada and 330,000 vehicles elsewhere, said Shino Yamada, another spokeswoman for Toyota.



The vehicles recalled outside Japan include certain models of the Yaris, Vios, Corolla, Matrix, Auris, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia, xB and xD produced between 2005 and 2010.



The first time the problem was reported was in September 2008 in the United States, Saito said.



No accidents, injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the problem, though there is a possibility that the malfunctioning switches could emit smoke, she said.



The move comes a day after Toyota reported that its sales fell 48.9pc year-on-year in China in September. Japanese car brands have suffered as a result of an outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in China in response to a territorial dispute between the two countries.



Shares in Toyota ended down 1.90pc, while the broader Nikkei index fell 1.98pc.



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