Business | Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:53am IST

Toyota to recall 2.8 million vehicles worldwide

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said it will recall around 2.77 million vehicles worldwide, including certain models of the Prius, due to problems with the steering mechanism and the hybrid system water pump, its second multi-million car recall in two months.

Toyota is recalling 1.5 million vehicles in Japan, 670,000 vehicles in the United States and 496,000 vehicles in Europe over a problem in the steering intermediate extension shafts, which could be damaged at slow speed, spokesman Joichi Tachikawa said on Wednesday.

This problem, seen in cars such as the second-generation Prius and certain Corolla models can be fixed in about 50 minutes, he said.

Separately, the Japanese carmaker is also recalling 630,000 vehicles worldwide, including 350,000 in the United States and 175,000 in Japan, to fix water pumps in hybrid vehicles, Tachikawa said.

Some vehicles are target of both recalls, making the total number of vehicles to be recalled at 2.77 million, he said.

Shares in Toyota were down 0.5 percent to 3,070 yen as of 2:44 p.m. (0544 GMT), slightly underperforming the main Nikkei that rose 0.1 percent.

In October, Toyota said it was pulling back more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide to fix faulty power window switches, the industry's biggest single recall since Ford Motor Co took 8 million vehicles off the road in 1996.

A series of Toyota recalls involving more than 10 million vehicles between 2009 and 2011 damaged the firm's image, but it recovered and earlier this month raised its full-year net profit forecast to $9.7 billion, citing solid sales.

Toyota has sold about 3.3 million Prius hybrid vehicles globally since the car went on sale in December 1997. The total number of hybrid vehicles it sold worldwide, including other models such as the Camry, was 4.6 million as of end-October.

This year's profit forecast comes despite a big drop in car sales in China since September, when anti-Japanese protests erupted over a diplomatic row.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

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