Toyota to recall 1.1 million vehicles for airbag, wiper glitches

TOKYO Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:42pm IST

A staff of Toyota Motor Corp's showroom washes a car in Tokyo November 7, 2008. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files

A staff of Toyota Motor Corp's showroom washes a car in Tokyo November 7, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai/Files

Stocks

   

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will recall 1.1 million cars globally for two separate defects, including 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles in the United States to fix airbags that could be deployed inadvertently, the automaker said on Wednesday.

It is the third Toyota recall since October to involve more than a million cars, and it comes as the company tries to recover from a damaged reputation following a series of recalls between 2009 and 2011 that were related to unintended acceleration problems.

An IC chip in the airbag control unit can malfunction when it receives electrical interference from other parts in the car, causing the airbags to deploy when it is not necessary, Toyota spokesman Naoto Fuse said.

Toyota is also recalling certain Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles in Japan, Canada, and Mexico.

The problem has caused minor injuries such as abrasions in 18 cases that have been reported, he said. Two accidents have been reported by customers outside Japan, although Toyota has not been able to confirm them, he said.

Toyota will add an electrical signal filter to the airbag control module to the recalled vehicles -- repairs expected to take an hour to hour-and-a-half, he said.

The spokesman declined to disclose the costs involved.

LIMITED FINANCIAL IMPACT

TRW Automotive Holding Corp (TRW.N) has manufactured the airbag control unit in the vehicles, although the problematic chip is supplied by another company, an employee at TRW's Toyota office told Reuters.

He declined to say where TRW buys the chips from.

The financial impact from the airbag recall is likely to be limited, possibly costing Toyota about 5 billion yen, said Koichi Sugimoto, a senior analyst at BNP Paribas in Tokyo.

Toyota may ask suppliers to compensate, he added.

"While this cannot be ignored, this amount is not going to dent Toyota's operations and share prices are unlikely to be impacted much," he said.

Separately, Toyota will also recall 385,000 Lexus IS and its series, including 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles in the United States over wiper problems, Toyota spokesman Fuse said.

The wiper arm nut of the front wiper in these vehicles may not be tight enough and the wiper may not work under certain weather occasions, including in snow.

Toyota will exchange the nut in repairs that will take about 30 minutes, Fuse said.

Toyota has been showing signs of recovery from the recall crisis and won back the crown as the world's top selling automaker in 2012 from General Motors.

In an effort to move past its safety crisis, Toyota proposed last month and got approval from a judge to spend $1.1 billion to settle one of the biggest U.S. auto class-action lawsuits over claims that millions of its vehicles accelerated unintentionally.

Toyota has not admitted fault in proposing the settlement.

As automakers including Toyota increasingly use shared parts for various models, the number of recalled vehicles have tended to balloon.

In October, the automaker also recalled 7.4 million vehicles globally to fix malfunctioning power window switches, and in November it recalled 2.8 million vehicles for a steering glitch.

Toyota is set to announce its October-December earnings results on February 5.

(Additional reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Daniel Magnowski and Ken Wills)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Market Eye

Sensex, Nifty rise to second consecutive record high

Sensex, Nifty rise to second consecutive record high

The BSE Sensex and Nifty on Friday rose to their second consecutive record highs. The 30-share Sensex surged as much as 1.5 percent to an all-time high of 27,759.01. The broader Nifty gained as much as 1.49 percent to a record of 8,291.65.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Commodities

Commodities

Silver futures in India hit four-year low on global cues.  Full Article 

BOJ Policy

BOJ Policy

BOJ shocks markets with surprise easing as inflation slows.  Full Article 

Cost Cutting

Cost Cutting

PM Narendra Modi boots officials out of the first class cabin  Full Article 

Leisure Riding

Leisure Riding

Harley-Davidson woos affluent young Indians with bike culture  Full Article 

Shadow Banking

Shadow Banking

China's shadow banking sector growing rapidly, third largest in world - FSB.  Full Article 

Moody's on India

Moody's on India

Moody's welcomes India's policy steps, but wants to see more.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage