Toyota to recall nearly 1.3 million cars worldwide

31 January 2013 - 13:00 By AFP Relaxnews
Toyota. File photo.
Toyota. File photo.
Image: AFP Photo/Jeff KOWALSKY

Japanese auto giant Toyota said Wednesday it would recall nearly 1.3 million vehicles globally due to airbag and windscreen wiper problems.

Toyota will replace airbag parts in some 907 000 hatchbacks in Canada, Japan, Mexico and the United States, a company spokesman said. The models are branded Voltz in Japan and Corolla and Corolla Matrix overseas.

They were produced between 2001 and 2004 in Canada, Japan and the United States.

The control unit of the airbags could be damaged by minor electrical noise, and the airbag could open wrongly in a worst-case scenario, the spokesman said.

At least 47 cases of the malfunction had been reported, mainly in the United States.

"Two of them may be linked to accidents but there has been no death-related report," the spokesman said, adding that Toyota would exchange the troubled parts under each country's recall guidelines.

Toyota separately said it would recall some 385 000 Lexus IS cars globally to change windscreen wiper parts, following problems in snow.

Once lauded for its safety standards, Toyota has been forced into damage control mode in recent years after recalling millions of vehicles due to a series of serious defects.

Last month it said it had agreed to pay about $1.1 billion to settle a class action lawsuit launched by US vehicle owners affected by a series of mass recalls.

But the automaker recaptured the title of world's biggest automaker from General Motors in 2012. On Monday it said its global sales last year soared 22.6% to 9.75 million vehicles.