Tag Archive | "safety recall"

Toyota Subpoenaed by Federal Grand Jury


TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp. said it has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in New York to submit documents related to problems with rods that connect a vehicle’s steering system to its front wheels, reported The Associated Press.

The world’s largest automaker, which is trying to repair a reputation damaged by recalls of millions of cars worldwide since October, said the federal grand jury issued the subpoena to its U.S. subsidiary in late June.

Toyota said it was the company’s second subpoena from a federal grand jury — a panel that can determine whether evidence exists to bring criminal charges.

“The company and its subsidiary are sincerely cooperating with authorities on the probe,” Toyota said in a statement.

Defective steering relay rods led Toyota to recall 4Runner sports utility vehicles and T100 pickup trucks in the United States in 2005.

Toyota said the grand jury’s subpoena did not specify vehicle models and it was not clear that the subpoena was linked to the 2005 recall, which came several years before safety lapses erupted into a global recall crisis late last year.

The automaker has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles worldwide since October, including 6 million in the U.S. alone, to address the possibility of unintended acceleration and to fix a braking problem in its Prius hybrid.

In February, Toyota was subpoenaed by a U.S. federal grand jury seeking documents related to unintended acceleration in its vehicles and the braking system of its Prius hybrid.

Earlier this year, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox also asked Toyota to submit information on the recent U.S. recalls, Toyota spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said. She declined to elaborate.

Toyota paid a record $16.4 million fine for being slow to recall vehicles with an accelerator pedal problem and is facing hundreds of state and federal lawsuits. Congress is considering an upgrade to auto safety laws in the aftermath of the Toyota recalls that began in October.

In Tokyo, Toyota shares fell 2.6 percent Tuesday to close at 3,055 yen before the subpoena announcement was made.

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Toyota Recalling Up to 138,874 Lexus Cars on Engine Defect


Toyota Motor Corp. told U.S. regulators it is recalling as many as 138,874 Lexus vehicles for 2006-2008 after reports of an engine defect that can lead to stalling, Bloomberg reported.

Toyota said July 2 it would notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the recall this week. As many as 270,000 Lexus model vehicles worldwide may have the defect and will be recalled, the company said.

Vehicles being recalled include GS350s from 2007 and 2008, IS350s from 2006 through 2008, GS450h models from 2007 and 2008, GS460s from 2008, LS460s from 2007 and 2008, LS460Ls from 2007 and 2008, and LS600hL models from 2008, according to the Toyota notice sent to the regulator.

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, said yesterday it will recall Lexus cars sold in Japan and China, including 91,903 Lexus GS 350, GS 450h, GS 460, IS 350, LS 460, LS 600h and LS 600hL models because of problems with valves that may cause the engine to stall, according to a statement on the website of the nation’s Transportation Ministry.

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Toyota to Recall Lexus Hybrid Over Fuel Spills


WASHINGTON – Toyota said Friday it will recall 17,000 Lexus luxury hybrids after testing showed that fuel can spill during a rear end crash, The Associated Press reported.

The Japanese automaker said tests conducted for the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration found that fuel leaked during a rear impact crash at 50 miles per hour on a 2010 HS250h sedan. The test, conducted by a NHTSA contractor, showed that fuel spilled as the vehicle spun around after impact.

Toyota’s own testing has not shown any spillage, but a spokesman said the company plans to issue a voluntary recall as it continues to try to replicate the government’s results. It is notifying dealers to stop selling the car.

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has attempted to rebound from a series of recalls tied to reports of unintended acceleration and other defects. The Obama administration penalized Toyota with a record $16.4 million fine for acting too slowly on the recalls.

Dealers have repaired millions of vehicles, but the auto giant faces more than 200 lawsuits connected to accidents and the lower resale value of vehicles.

Earlier this week, Toyota Motor Corp. president Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the automaker’s founder, apologized to shareholders for the trouble caused by the recalls. He said the company was doing its best to improve quality control.

Toyota said it has not identified a fix for the reported problems of fuel spillage.

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VW Recalls 15,902 Vans Built by Chrysler


DETROIT — Volkswagen AG notified U.S. safety regulators that it is recalling 15,902 of its 2009 Routan minivan over a possible wiring problem that could lead to a fire, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Chrysler Group LLC assembles the vehicles for VW at its Windsor, Ontario plant.

Chrysler itself announced Monday it was recalling 318,974 of its Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans because of the same wiring problem. The minivans are made at the same plant.

Under certain conditions, the lower sliding door hinge bracket can make contact with some internal wiring installation, which may cause a fire within the rear sliding door. Both companies have had no reports of injuries or accidents associated with the problem.

Volkswagen said in a statement posted on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it will start the recall sometime this month although a date was not provided.

General Motors Co. earlier this week recalled 1.5 million vehicles with heated washer-fluid systems following engine fires that continued to occur even after a fix was made in 2008. Also Suzuki Motor Corp. recently recalled 46,549 of its Grand Vitara and XL-7 vehicles over the possibility of a plastic piece breaking off the tension adjuster pulley.

The recalls underscore a hypersensitivity within the auto industry to quickly initiate recalls following the plight of Toyota Motor Co. The auto maker was fined $16.4 million for failing to notify NHTSA of defects that led to gas pedals “sticking” in the acceleration mode even when a driver’s foot had been lifted.

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GM Recalls 1.5 Million Vehicles


DETROIT — General Motors Co. is recalling more than 1.5 million cars and trucks sold globally because of a glitch in the windshield wiper fluid system that could ignite a fire, the latest in a growing number of high-profile safety recalls for the U.S. auto industry, reported The Wall Street Journal.

GM is unable to repair the system, because the supplier that makes the system is no longer in business, and instead will remove the heated fluid feature and compensate vehicle owners with $100.

“While our analysis shows the number of incidents is very small compared with the number of vehicles on the road, we want our customers to have complete peace of mind,” Jeff Boyer, GM executive director of safety, said in a statement.

GM’s recall involves 2006 through 2009 model-year vehicles including Buick Enclave, Cadillac CTS and several Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks and SUVs.

GM attempted to fix the problem in a 2008 recall, but has since received reports of “thermal incidents” on repaired vehicles, according to a filing with the NHTSA.

The company reported five known fires, but no injuries or crashes.

Around 1.4 million of the affected vehicles are in the U.S.; more than 100,000 are in Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.

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Chrysler to Recall More Than 683,000 Vehicles


DETROIT — Chrysler Group LLC confirmed it is voluntarily recalling more than 683,000 Jeep Wranglers and minivans worldwide over brake-line and sliding-power-door issues, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The automaker said the recall affects 364,732 of its 2007 through 2010 Jeep Wrangler models. Potentially, brake lines could come in contact with the inner-fender lining, which could reduce braking performance over time, Chrysler said in a statement.

Chrysler is also recalling 318,974 of its 2008-2009 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans because of the potential for interior wiring to come in contact with the sliding power door, which could cause a short circuit leading to a fire.

The company has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the recalls and says it isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries related to either issue.

Last week, Chrysler announced it was voluntarily recalling 34,700 Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass vehicles world-wide amid a federal investigation into a potential “sticky accelerator” pedal.

That announcement was posted on the NHTSA Web site on Friday. NHTSA also knew of the Wrangler and minivan recalls on Friday, but that information wasn’t posted on the agency’s Web site until as late as Monday.

A total of 288,302 Wranglers are being recalled in the U.S.; 28,976 in Canada; 6,438 in Mexico and 41,016 in the company’s international markets.

There are 284,831 minivans being recalled in the U.S.; 15,295 in Canada; 3,994 in Mexico and 14,854 in the international markets.

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