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Toyota to recall 1.75 million vehicles globally

TOKYO: Toyota said Wednesday it is recalling 1.75 million vehicles globally over brake problems and other glitches that posed a fire risk, marking the latest in a string of call backs by the world’s biggest automaker.

The Japanese giant pointed to three problems in several models including its luxury Lexus brand and upmarket Crown Majesta.

Among the issues was an improperly shaped part in the braking system that could lead to a change in the “feel” of the brake pedal over time — a problem that affected 802,000 vehicles, mostly in Japan and China, produced between June 2007 and June 2012.

“The brake does not become ineffective, but brake performance could begin to gradually degrade,” Toyota said in an email.

A separate issue involving the fuel delivery pipe on 759,000 vehicles, including Lexus models and Crown Majesta made between January 2005 and September 2010, could increase the risk of a fire “in the presence of an ignition source”.

More than half of the affected cars were sold in the United States.

A problem with 109,000 cars in Japan linked to the fuel-suction plate also posed a fire risk, the firm said. The affected cars were made between October 2006 and October 2014.

“Toyota is not aware of any fires, crashes, injuries, or fatalities” linked to the problems, it added.

The announcement comes about four months after Toyota recalled 2.27 million vehicles globally over a defect that could see airbags fail to deploy in a crash and which also posed a fire risk.

The automaker has recalled almost 11 million vehicles since the start of the year, dealing another blow to its once-stellar reputation for quality and safety.

Among the announcements was the February recall of 1.9 million units of Toyota’s signature Prius hybrid cars.

Despite logging record sales and bumper profits, Toyota has been fighting to protect its reputation as US rival General Motors scrambles to contain a deadly ignition-linked scandal.

In March, Toyota agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle US criminal charges that it lied to regulators and the public as it tried to cover up deadly accelerator defects, which caused vehicles to speed out of control and fail to respond to the brake.

Toyota eventually recalled 12 million vehicles worldwide in 2009 and 2010.

As part of the settlement, the automaker admitted that it lied when it insisted that it had addressed the “root cause” of the problem by fixing floor mats that could trap the accelerator.

This week, GM raised its ignition-switch death toll, as the Cadillac and Chevrolet brand maker faces soaring compensation claims.

As of October 10, the number of people killed in crashes because of the defective ignition switches was 27, according information on its compensation website.

The company waited nearly 11 years before beginning to recall 2.6 million cars, in February, after hundreds of possible accidents and deaths were reported.

By late August GM had acknowledged 13 deaths from crashes related to the problem, in which the faulty ignition could turn off power to a car’s power steering and safety airbags while it is in motion. – AFP

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