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Toyota Recalling 6.4 Mil Vehicles Worldwide

Nearly 30 different models impacted by a variety of problems.

by on Apr.09, 2014

The Toyota Highlander is one of many vehicles covered by the Japanese maker's huge new recall.

In one of the largest announcements in several years of major safety-related news, Toyota Motor Co. is recalling nearly 6.4 million vehicles for a variety of problems worldwide.

Some of the vehicles are actually covered by more than one recall, and the announcement also impacts products sold by two other makers – Subaru and General Motors — that were produced by Toyota. Adding the Subaru Trezia and Pontiac Vibe to the list brings the total number of vehicles involved in the recall to 6.76 million worldwide.

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Toyota says it has no reports of crashes or injuries related to any of the recalls – though it did note two fires linked to one problem, a defective engine starter that can keep a motor running even if the motorist wants to shut the vehicle off.  That is not related to the defective engine switch problem that has led GM to recall more than 2.5 million vehicles since mid-February.


Justice Dept. Confirms Toyota Settlement – Maker Will Take $1.2 Bil Hit

“Car owners have a right to expect that their vehicle is safe.”

by on Mar.19, 2014

Motorists "have a right to expect their vehicle is safe," said Attorney General Holder, adding that Toyota intentionally misled the public.

Declaring that “car owners …have a right to expect that their vehicle is safe,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced a settlement of a long-running investigation into Toyota’s handling of a series of problems linked to a number of deaths and injuries and the eventual recall of more than 10 million vehicles.

The maker has agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle the criminal investigation and will follow up on a number of steps it has already taken to ensure that it no longer delays responding to possible safety problems. That includes setting up rapid-response teams to quickly investigate customer concerns.

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The settlement comes just as the Justice Department begins an investigation into General Motors’ handling of a recall involving defective ignition switches that have been linked to at least 12 deaths.

“When car owners get behind the wheel, they have a right to expect that their vehicle is safe,” said Holder, during a news conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday morning. “Toyota violated that basic compact.”


Toyota Set to Pay $1 Bil to Settle With US Justice Dept.

Feds end one criminal probe as they launch another targeting GM.

by on Mar.19, 2014

Toyota recalled over 10 million vehicles due to potential unintended acceleration problems.

Toyota is expected to pay $1 billion to settle a criminal investigation launched by the U.S. Justice Department into how the maker handled recalls linked to its problems with unintended acceleration nearly five years ago.

Both the Justice Dept. and the FBI had been looking to see whether the Japanese giant had intentionally misled federal safety regulators after it began receiving complaints that some of its vehicles could surge out of control unexpectedly. The automaker eventually recalled more than 10 million vehicles in the U.S. and millions more worldwide. It has also spent billions more to settle various lawsuits and to repair those vehicles.

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The settlement comes just as the Justice Dept. ramps up a preliminary investigation into how General Motors has handled the recall of 1.6 million vehicles equipped with faulty ignition switches. That service action – now linked to at least 12 deaths – was announced just last month, but an internal GM timeline indicates the maker first saw indications of the problem as early as 2001.


Despite Pressure from Public, Lawmakers, Are Unsafe Cars Still Sidestepping Recall Process?

GM ignition switch scandal could lead to crackdown.

by on Mar.17, 2014

A Jeep Grand Cherokee fire. The maker long fought a recall - but critics aren't happy with the final settlement.

Things were supposed to change a decade ago.  After an estimated 270 people were killed in rollover accidents involving Ford Explorer SUVs and Firestone tires, Congress passed the so-called TREAD Act.  Short for the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, it was intended to create a new process by which manufacturers had to reveal known safety-related issues – while encouraging motorists to report their own complaints.

But while federal safety regulators and automotive industry officials alike insist the new process is working, there are plenty of skeptics – all the more in the wake of the recent revelations that General Motors may have known for more than a decade that many of its compact cars were equipped with faulty ignition switches that could inadvertently shut the vehicles off and disable their airbag systems – a problem that last month led to the recall of 1.6 million vehicles and which has been linked to at least 12 deaths.

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What some are dubbing “Switch-gate” has already spawned a series of investigations – including hearings on both sides of Capitol Hill, a preliminary Justice Dept. criminal probe, a query by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and a new internal investigation at GM itself ordered by the maker’s new CEO Mary Barra.


Toyota Recalling 1.9 Mil Prius Hybrids

Maker cites faulty software.

by on Feb.12, 2014

About 700,000 Prius hybrids sold in the U.S. are covered by the maker's latest recall.

Toyota is recalling 1.9 million Prius Hybrid sedans sold around the world between 2009 and 2014 due to faulty software that could cause the vehicle to stop unexpectedly.

More than a third of the vehicles, 713,000 in all, were sold in the United States, where the Prius has long been the best-selling hybrid in the market. Nearly half, or 917,000 will be recalled in Japan where the Prius has routinely been the best-selling vehicle of all kinds.  The rest of the cars affected by the recall were sold in Europe and other parts of the world.

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Toyota says it has received no reports of injuries or accidents related to the problem. But the risk is that an accident could occur if one of the hybrids were to unexpectedly stall while on the road.


Toyota Halts Sales of Nearly Entire Line-Up Due to Safety-Related Issue

But maker so far declining to order recall.

by on Jan.30, 2014

Toyota's move impacts major models including the Avalon, shown here, Camry, Corolla and others.

(This story has been updated to reflect comments and details provided by Toyota.)

For the second time in recent years, Toyota has taken the unusual step of halting sales of almost its entire U.S. line-up due to a potential safety defect – however the maker says it currently does not plan to recall vehicles it has already sold.

That could change, however, if federal regulators decide a recall is warranted, a move now under study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  It remains to be seen how the public will view the latest problem which occurs almost exactly four years after the Japanese giant briefly halted sales of a variety of vehicles due to potential problems with so-called unintended acceleration.

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Today’s announcement covers such high-volume models as the Toyota Camry and Corolla sedans, as well as the Sienna minivan, and Tacoma and Tundra pickups. Also impacted are the full-size Avalon sedan and Avalon and Camry Hybrids.  Only vehicles equipped with electric seat heaters are covered by the stop-sale announcement because they were manufactured with materials that did not meet flame-retardant standards.


Toyota Does Damage Control: Renews Camry’s Ratings

Sedan regains CR’s “Recommended,” IIHS’s “Top Safety Pick” endorsements.

by on Dec.20, 2013

Toyota modified its Camry in November, and it now gets an "Acceptable" rating in the IIHS small overlap crash test.

Toyota is in the midst of some serious damage control – quite literally.

The maker took a beating earlier this year when several models were slammed for their poor performance in the new “small overlap” crash test established by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That meant the best-selling passenger car in America might lose its IIHS “Top Safety Pick” endorsement while influential Consumer Reports, notably, yanked its “Recommended” rating for the midsize sedan.

Toyota officials have been frantically trying to downplay the significance of the poor showing by a variety of models that also included Corolla and Prius – while also noting that they’re far from the only ones who’ve been hurt by doing poorly in the new IIHS test.

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Indeed, that was a key reason why the number of models that the Insurance Institute this week awarded “Top Safety Pick” and “Top Safety Pick Plus” awards plunged to 39 from 130 last year.

Significantly, Camry was named a top pick and Prius got the vaunted plus rating.  Meanwhile, Consumer Reports has put Camry back on its recommended list.  But there’s a footnote here.  The IIHS pointedly noted that only Camry and Prius models produced since November qualified.


Toyota Recalls Nearly 900,000 Cars Due to Airbag Defect

Japanese maker’s third major recall in little more than a month.

by on Oct.17, 2013

The Toyota Camry, the best-selling passenger car in the U.S., is affected by the latest in a series of Toyota recalls.

Toyota Motor Co.  is recalling another 885,000 vehicles worldwide, the latest in a series of major safety-related actions this time caused by electrical problems that could prevent airbags from deploying in the event of a collision.

The vast majority of the vehicles covered by the latest recall – a mix of sedans and crossovers – were sold in the United States, according to Toyota, a total of 803,000 of the products. Within the past month, Toyota has recalled nearly 1.5 million other vehicles due a mix of additional problems.

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The announcement comes just days after the maker won a critical victory in a California court in connection with the unintended acceleration flap that led to the recall of more than 10 million Toyota vehicles and has so far led to the payback of several billion dollars in settlements and jury verdicts.


Toyota Recalling 700,000 Sienna Minivans

Shifter problem can cause vehicle rollaways.

by on Sep.26, 2013

One of the Sienna minivans covered by the third major Toyota recall this month.

Toyota will recall 694,000 older Sienna minvans due to a problem with the shift lever that could result in unexpected rollaways.

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The problem involves Toyota Siennas produced at the maker’s plant in Indiana and sold from model-years 2004 to 2005 and from 2007 to 2009.  The vast majority of the vehicles – 615,000 in all – were sold in the United States. Another 56,000 went to Canada, with a small number also sold in Mexico, Germany and Guatemala.


Toyota Recalling More Than 1 Million Vehicles

Actions include second recall for 780,000 hybrids, crossovers to fix suspension defect.

by on Sep.10, 2013

If at first you don't succeed, order a second recall. The RAV4 goes back into the shop.

Toyota’s efforts to overcome concern about quality and safety could take a hit following word of its latest recalls.

On Monday, Toyota and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration have cited three separate voluntary recalls, involving a total 1,015,249 built between 2006 and 2011. The recalls were only the latest in a long list by the Japanese auto giant.

The first recall is not only one of the year’s larger safety-related recalls but it also marks the second time the Japanese giant will attempt to fix a problem with the rear suspensions on 780,000 crossovers and hybrids that could lead to a crash.

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Toyota found that a fix it put in place in August 2012 didn’t solve the problem and will have to recall the vehicles again.

The two vehicles covered by the latest service action are the 2010 Lexus HS250 hybrid and the 2006 through 2011 Toyota RAV4 crossover, the latter one of the maker’s most popular models.