Tag Archive | "recall"

Toyota Motor Recalls 1.7 Million Cars Globally for New Defects


Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker, recalled about 1.7 million vehicles globally for defects in fuel pipes and pumps, pressure sensors and spare tire carriers, Bloomberg reported.

In Japan, Toyota will recall 1.28 million units of models including the Voxy, Noah and Isis minivans and RAV4 sport- utility vehicles, according to statements from the company. Separately, Toyota said it would conduct a voluntary safety recall of 245,000 Lexus luxury cars in the U.S. to inspect installation of fuel pressure sensors and call back 135,000 Avensis sedans in Europe for potential defects in fuel systems.

The automaker, based in Toyota City, Japan, is struggling to recover its reputation for reliability after record recalls, mainly for problems relating to unintended acceleration. General Motors Co., the second-ranked global automaker, narrowed Toyota’s lead in 2010 after the Asian automaker’s sales fell 0.4 percent in the U.S.

“After Toyota’s recalls last year, the company is more sensitive to recall issues and conducting them as early as possible,” said Satoru Takada, a Tokyo-based analyst at TIW Inc. The impact on the automaker’s stock price will be limited, he said.

Shares Fall

There have been no reports of accidents because of the faults, the Toyota said.

Shares in Toyota fell 1.9 percent to close at 3,400 yen in Tokyo. The stock has gained 5.6 percent so far this year.

Today’s recall is the company’s biggest since Oct. 21, when it said 1.53 million cars had brake-related problems that may cause fluid leaks. Defects linked to unintended acceleration led to recalls totaling more than 8 million units that began in September 2009.

“Compared with last year, consumers are responding less to Toyota’s continued recalls,” said Tadashi Usui, a Tokyo-based analyst at Moody’s K.K. “But it’s still questionable whether Toyota will fully regain its reputation for quality.”

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Auto recalls spike in 2010


WASHINGTON – Automakers, led by battered Toyota Motor Corp., recalled more than 19 million vehicles in about 600 U.S. recall campaigns this year – the most since 2004.

Of the six automakers selling the most cars in the United States, only Ford Motor Co. recorded a decline in the number of vehicles compared with 2009, according to figures tallied by The Detroit News through Tuesday.

The government will release final numbers next month.

In addition to the massive Toyota recalls, this year’s spike reflects a growing number of complaints from consumers, increased scrutiny from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a “better safe than sorry” stance from automakers eager to move faster to minimize bad publicity.

Toyota has recalled 7 million vehicles in 18 campaigns this year. Both are records for the Japanese automaker, whose image was stung by the safety questions they raised. Prior to 2010, Toyota’s worst year for recalls was 2009, when it called back 4.8 million vehicles in nine campaigns.

“We’re moving more quickly,” said Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons, explaining the company’s push to quickly address safety issues and recall vehicles when necessary.

But Lyons said it’s important to put the numbers in context.

“Some of Toyota’s biggest competitors have had twice as many recalls as we have over the past five years,” he said. “Toyota has had the lowest number of recalls of any major manufacturer over the past 10 years.”

After calling back 4.5 million vehicles in eight 2009 recall campaigns, Dearborn-based Ford recalled about 570,000 vehicles innine campaigns in the past 12 months.

Ford’s numbers were higher in 2009 than this year, largely because it recalled 4.5 million vehicles for faulty cruise control deactivation switches, including 1.7 million 1995-2003 Ford Windstars. The automaker recalled about 14 million vehicles in eight separate recalls over a 10-year period to address the issue.

Ford isn’t gloating about this year’s recall decline.

“The quantity of recalls is not something we pay a whole lot of attention to,” said Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood. “Whenever we’re looking at safety issues, first and foremost we’re committed to our customers.”

Ford’s crosstown rival, General Motors Co., which had 16 recalls covering 2.2 million vehicles in 2009, reported 21 recalls covering 4 million vehicles this year.
Aiming for zero

“The only satisfactory number of recalls is zero, but the important thing is that we identify and correct any problems quickly and completely with as little inconvenience to customers as possible,” said Dan Nicholson, GM vice president of global quality.

Auburn Hills-based Chrysler Group LLC had 15 campaigns covering 589,000 vehicles in 2009, and this year called back 1.5 million vehicles in 13 campaigns.

“We have been one of the lowest recall rate companies as a percent of our vehicles on the road for the last several years and expect to continue that performance going forward,” said Doug Betts, senior vice president, quality, at Chrysler.
Ups, downs of recalls

Since 1966, automakers have recalled more than 470 million vehicles. The number of recalls has bounced around in recent years.

In 2004, the auto industry recalled a record 30.8 million vehicles in 600 campaigns. The record-setting pace was led by Detroit’s Big Three.

GM recalled 4 million pickups in 2004 for tailgate cables that could corrode — one of the 10 largest recalls of all time — and called back10.8 million vehicles in all of the year — the most of any automaker.

Then-DaimlerChrysler recalled 5.8 million vehicles, while Ford Motor Co. recalled 5 million vehicles.

By 2008, recalls fell to 10.5 million in 684 campaigns, as automakers tried to fix problems earlier in the model year. That was the lowest number since 1994.

The landscape for recalls changed in late August 2009, when an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer and three passengers died when a floor mat became trapped in the accelerator pedal of his loaner Lexus, and the out-of-control car crashed.

In the aftermath, Toyota recalled 5.6 million vehicles for that issue. It also recalled 2.3 million vehicles for sticky accelerator pedals — a move that forced it to temporarily stop selling eight models.

Toyota was fined $16.4 million by NHTSA for delaying the sticky pedal recall in April, and last week agreed to pay $32.4 million after NHTSA said the automaker delayed the pedal entrapment and a 2005 steering rod recalls.

NHTSA more aggressive

NHTSA, which was harshly criticized by Congress early in the year for not forcing Toyota to take broader actions in the face of complaints of sudden acceleration, has assumed a more aggressive stance on recalls in general.

It is opening investigations faster, sometimes based on fewer complaints, and is pushing automakers to recall more vehicles, faster.

In addition, more than 64,000 complaints have been filed this year, up from about 35,000 a year in recent years, and NHTSA is giving them a closer look.

‘Profits above safety’

Auto safety advocates say the higher number of recalls and complaints this year are evidence that Congress should act on long-stalled legislation to give NHTSA more power — including ability to invoke an “imminent hazard” — to get unsafe vehicles off the roads if an automaker refuses.

“NHTSA does not have the authority or resources to stand up to an auto industry that always has and always will place profits above safety,” Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Automotive Safety, who advocates giving the government greater authority in auto safety matters.

Edmunds.com said its analysis of NHTSA recall data showed that recallsare “up dramatically from the 13.4 million vehicle annual average from 2005-09.”

“The Toyota recalls cast a much brighter spotlight on this process,” said Edmunds analystPanee Segal. “It will be interesting to see if the trend continues into the future when recalls aren’t earning front page headlines.”

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GM Recalls 13,780 Buicks, Cadillacs After Fire Reports


General Motors Co. is recalling 13,780 Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS cars in the United States because of a flaw that can cause power-steering fluid to leak and ignite a fire in the engine.

The company is targeting model year 2010 and 2011 Lucerne and DTS vehicles following reports of two fires related to electrical arcing triggered by leaking fluid coming into contact with the starter or alternator cable, according to a letter on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

No injuries were reported in the fires, Alan Adler, a spokesman for Detroit-based GM, said in an interview, Bloomberg reported.

The automaker concluded the starter and alternator cables were incorrectly installed so they touch a power-steering line, it said in the letter to NHTSA, the U.S. auto-safety regulator.

GM will repair the cars, which are under warranty, free of charge to owners. The recall totals 14,245 cars worldwide, GM said in a statement on its website.

The company this year has recalled 1.53 million cars and trucks for a windshield-wiper flaw that may cause fires, and 303,100 Impala cars in the U.S. because seat belts in the front seat may not be properly anchored and may fail to restrain passengers in a crash.

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Nissan Recalls 605,000 Vehicles for Steering, Battery Defects


Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest carmaker, is recalling about 605,000 vehicles worldwide for flaws in steering-column shafts and batteries, Bloomberg reported.

The recalls include about 303,000 Frontier pickup trucks, 283,000 Xterra sport-utility vehicles and 18,500 Sentra cars, primarily in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, the Yokohama-based company said in a statement.

No accidents or injuries have been reported in connection with the defects, Nissan said in the statement. The recalls cover certain vehicles manufactured from 2001 to 2010. About 85 percent of the vehicles were sold in the United States, the carmaker said.

Nissan fell 0.8 percent to 785 yen as of 9:42 a.m. in Tokyo trading, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.2 percent.

The steering-column flaw causes corrosion that can limit the movement of the lower joint and lead to cracking of the steering shaft, the company said. The battery defect, affecting Sentra cars, can lead to difficulty starting the vehicle or stalling at low speeds, Nissan said.

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Nissan to Fix 2.14 Million Cars in 3rd Biggest Recall


TOKYO – Nissan Motor Co. said it would recall 2.14 million March/Micra, Cube and about a dozen other models in its third-biggest recall, to fix a faulty ignition relay that could cause engine problems, Reuters reported.

No accident was reported from the defect, Nissan spokesman Toshitake Inoshita said.

Nissan said problems in the ignition relay could cause the engine to stall or fail to restart. The recalls are mostly in Japan, with 835,000 units, and the United States and Canada with a combined 762,000 units.

The faulty vehicles were built in Japan, the United States, Britain, Spain, China and Taiwan between August 2003 and July 2006.

Nissan does not disclose cost estimates on vehicle recalls or any impact on its earnings. But the fix is likely to be relatively cheap, with Nissan estimating less than 25 minutes for the repair, which involves replacing the ignition relay.

Recalls exceeding 1 million vehicles have become more common at big automakers as they use common components across multiple models to save design and production costs.

Last week, Toyota Motor Corp. announced a recall of 1.66 million vehicles globally for defects involving the brake master cylinder and fuel pump wiring. That brought the total number of vehicles recalled worldwide at Toyota in the past year to about 14 million.

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BMW Recalls 150K Vehicles in U.S.


BMW plans to recall around 150,000 vehicles in the United States to fix potentially faulty fuel pumps.

The German automaker said Tuesday that it is recalling 130,000 models equipped with twin-turbo six-cylinder engines to check and perhaps replace the high-pressure fuel pump, reported The Detroit News.

In a separate action, BMW will recall 20,800 2008 X5 SUVs with normally aspirated six-cylinder engines to replace the low-pressure fuel pump.

The bigger recall involving models with twin-turbo engines was announced a few hours after ABC News issued an investigative report into problems with the fuel pumps leading to lawsuits.

BMW said no injuries or accidents had been reported because of either issue.

Auto analysts said BMW’s response may reflect a heightened sensitivity throughout the industry about safety or recall-related issues after Toyota Motor Corp.’s problems. Not only did Toyota recall millions of vehicles, but it also was fined and pilloried in some cases for moving too slowly.

“Here we have a situation where a company is in a possible liability situation, and we’re not even certain anything has happened,” said Jack Nerad, executive market analyst at used-car price specialist Kelley Blue Book.

Nerad and other analysts said the increased sensitivity to safety issues is beneficial.

The larger BMW recall affects 2007-10 model year BMW 335i cars, 2008-2010 135i, 535i and X6 xDrive35i models, and 2009-10 Z4 sDrive35i roadsters. The high-pressure pump in those vehicles may fail, BMW said.

“Symptoms include long-crank engine starting times along with the illumination of the ‘Service Engine Soon’ light,” BMW said. In some cases, the driver may experience reduced engine performance accompanied by a tone and an ‘Engine Malfunction’ light, it said.

The fix may entail the replacement of the high-pressure fuel pump, a software update or both. BMW expects that about 40,000 vehicles will need a new pump.

In the other action, BMW will recall 20,800 2008 X5s to replace the low-pressure fuel pump. If the pump fails, the engine will stop running and the driver will lose power-assist for the steering and brakes, although the steering and brakes will still function.

BMW said it had notified regulators. Owners of affected vehicles will be sent letters in the coming weeks.

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