Toyota to recall 7.4 million vehicles over power window glitch

Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:26pm EDT
 
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By Yoko Kubota

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote) said it would recall more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide as a faulty power window switch was a potential fire hazard, the latest in a series of setbacks that have dented the reputation of Japan's biggest automaker.

The voluntary move is the biggest single recall since Ford pulled 8 million vehicles off the road in 1996 to replace defective ignition switches that could have caused engine fires.

Toyota has battled its way back from multiple difficulties since 2008, including a series of recalls involving more than 10 million of its vehicles in 2009-11, and crippled supply chains from last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand. It posted its biggest quarterly operating profit in four years in April-June.

The firm regained its crown as the world's best-selling automaker in the first half year and expects to sell 9.76 million cars and light trucks globally this year, including the Daihatsu and Hino brands.

More recently, though, Toyota - and other Japanese brands - have seen sales plummet in China, the world's biggest autos market, as a result of protests in a simmering Sino-Japanese territorial dispute. Toyota said on Tuesday that its China sales fell 48.9 percent year-on-year in September.

QUICK FIX

The recall, intended to fix a malfunctioning power window switch on the driver's side, primarily affects cars in the United States, China and Europe.

Toyota's main rivals in the U.S. include Ford and General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote), while in China they include Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote), Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS: Quote) and Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T: Quote), and in Europe, Hyundai and Nissan.   Continued...

 
A Toyota Yaris Hybrid car is displayed in the show room at the Toyota car assembly plant in Onnaing, northern France, October 8, 2012. Japan's Toyota Motor Corp announced a massive recall on October 10 to fix malfunctioning power window switches, saying it will pull back 7.43 million vehicles worldwide in the biggest single recall since 1996, performed by Ford Motor Co. Picture taken October 8, 2012. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol