Toyota recalls 6.5m cars over steering and seat problems

By Anila Bangash
Correspondent, SAM Daily Times

Toyota is recalling more than 6.5m cars worldwide to fix a variety of problems, including faulty steering wheels and seats.

The global recall tally is a huge blow to the world's biggest selling carmaker that has seen its reputation battered by a string of damaging recalls.

In the UK, the recall affects some 25,000 RAV4 and Hilux models bought between June 2004 and December 2010; these cars have a faulty connection from the steering wheel to the airbag, meaning that a certain turn of the wheel could cause the airbag to deactivate. "If connectivity is lost, the airbag warning light will illuminate on the instrument panel and the driver's airbag may be deactivated," the company said. In the US, that problem affects 1.3m vehicles, including certain models of the Corolla.

The company said there had been no reported accidents or injuries relating to the problems identified. Some 27 Toyota models are affected, including the Corolla, RAV4, Hilux, Yaris, Tacoma, Urban Cruiser and Scion xD.

Toyota's reputation has not fully recovered since a faulty accelerator pedal led to it taking 10m cars off the road in 2009-10.

This problem with the seat mechanism affects 10,263 UK-registered vehicles built between January 2005 and August 2010.

The company said it would contact customers in the coming weeks to make an appointment for the free repairs. Drivers can check if their vehicle is affected by using a registration number search function on the Toyota website.

David Bailey, a car industry expert at Aston Business School in Coventry said said several companies, especially Japanese carmakers, were now reassessing where they source car parts and make their vehicles. "This offers an opportunity for the UK to re-shore some of its activity and bring it back."

Most of the affected cars in the current recall are in North America, with 825,000 in Europe (35,000 in the UK), and 300,000 in Australia, where the recall affects the Hilux "utes" and Yaris city cars.


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