Toyota recalls 2.8 million vehicles over steering issues

14 November 2012
By David Spencer
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Toyota has announced a massive recall.

Toyota has announced a massive recall.

Japanese car company Toyota Motor Corp have announced that they will be recalling 2.77 million vehicles worldwide. This recall will include popular consumer hybrid car, the Prius.

The recall comes after concerns with steering and water pump problems. This is Toyota’s second multimillion-vehicle recall in a little over a month.

Toyota has reported no accidents on recalled vehicles and repairs can be achieved in an hour. This could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs, said auto analyst Kurt Sanger of Deutsche Securities.

Toyota's 2.76 million recalls are to fix a steering component that could be damaged by wear and tear. The corporation are also recalling 630,000 gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles to replace water pumps, their company spokesman Joichi Tachikawa said. Many vehicles are targeted by both recalls, resulting in overlap.

Sanger has said that the extent of the recall suggests a more committed and concerned stance by the company to address defects. This stance comes after its recall crisis a few years ago.

"They seem to continue to be obsessively monitoring these things and looking for potential problems before they arise," Sanger said.

While Toyota have not given indication of the likely cost of the latest recall, Sanger estimates that it could amount to 30 billion to 40 billion yen ($380-500m).

"That's a decent range of financial impact, we assume. There doesn't seem to be much brand risk around this, given that there haven't been injuries and excessive complaining leading up to the product action and recall." said Sanger.

Flaws remain less serious to the scope of the world-wide recall. The clouds still hover over Toyota’s last recall of a huge proportion of their product in 2009 and 2011, a recall that was the result of unintended acceleration problems which were suspected causes of fatalities in the US.

As of 2012, Toyota have recaptured the title of the world’s top automaker, despite the natural disasters temporarily disrupting the production of automobiles in Japan and Thailand – occurrences which knocked them from their prime spot in 2011.

These recalls are ultimately concerns of the image of the company in the public eye since 2009 and 2011.

Discussion of the company's quality issues re-emerged last month's with the recall of over 7.4 million vehicles to fix power window switches. This is the industry's biggest single recall since Ford Motor Co took eight million vehicles off the road in 1996.

Two weeks later, Tokai Rika, a supplier of parts to Toyota, booked an extraordinary loss of 15 billion yen to pay for problematic parts connected with a recall.

Economically the recall has seen shares in Toyota down 0.8 per cent, at 3,060 yen on Wednesday, underperforming the Nikkei benchmark index.

Toyota’s decision to recall covers certain Corolla compact models manufactured between 2000 and 2006 as well as the 2004-2011 Prius models. Toyota report sales of around 3.3 million on the Prius hybrid vehicles since its global launch in 1997.

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