Toyota to recall nearly 6.5 million vehicles for steering, other faults

TOKYO Wed Apr 9, 2014 1:15pm IST

A worker cleans a Toyota Yaris car at the Wuhan Motor Show, Hubei province, October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

A worker cleans a Toyota Yaris car at the Wuhan Motor Show, Hubei province, October 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Wednesday it would recall 6.39 million vehicles globally for faults affecting various parts ranging from steering to seats in the company's second-largest recall to date.

The world's biggest automaker said it was not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the glitches, which were found in 27 Toyota models including the RAV4 SUV and Yaris subcompact. Toyota said faults were also found in the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia, two models the automaker built for General Motors (GM.N) and Fuji Heavy Industries (7270.T).

The automaker did not say now much the recall would cost and it was not clear if the faults stemmed from Toyota's suppliers or its manfacturing process. "We sincerely apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and concern brought by this recall announcement," Toyota added in a statement.

Large scale recalls have become more common in recent years as automakers move to fix defects quickly after Toyota was forced to recall more than 9 million vehicles to address sticky accelerators linked to fatal accidents.

That recall, which forced Toyota President Akio Toyoda to testify in U.S. Congress, weighed heavily on the company's sales and reputation, culminating in a record $1.2 billion settlement agreed only last month, with more private lawsuits still pending.

Toyota said some 3.5 million vehicles were being recalled to replace a spiral cable that could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned, causing the air bag to fail to activate in the event of a crash. About half of those vehicles, produced between April 2004 and December 2010, are in North America.

Another 2.32 million three-door models made between January 2005 and August 2010 are being recalled to check the rails that could cause the seat to slide forward in a crash.

The other recalls are for faulty steering column brackets, windshield wiper motors and engine starters, Toyota said.

The 6.39 million vehicle recall is the largest announced on a single day for Toyota since October 2012, when it called back 7.43 million Yaris, Corolla and other models to fix faulty power window switches.

It also comes as rival GM is under investigation for failing for years to act on a known ignition switch defect linked to a dozen deaths. The company has recalled 1.6 million vehicles over the issue.

Chrysler FIA.MI also said last week it was recalling nearly 870,000 sport utility vehicles to fix a brake problem.

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer in Berlin, Laurence Frost in Paris and Chang-Ran Kim in Tokyo; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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