The Herald Bulletin

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April 9, 2014

AP: Toyota recalls 1.8M vehicles in the US

GM's Pontiac Vibe included because Toyota designed, engineered

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling nearly 1.8 million vehicles in the U.S. for various safety problems, including air bags that may fail to deploy.

The Japanese automaker announced the U.S. recall Wednesday as part of a broader recall of 6.39 million vehicles — and 27 Toyota models — globally.

In the U.S., the recall includes:

— 1.3 million vehicles with faulty electrical connections that could cause the air bags to deactivate. Included are the 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2008-2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 Tacoma, 2006-2008 RAV4, 2006-2010 Yaris and 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe. If the air bags deactivate, they could fail to deploy after a crash.

— 472,500 small cars with defective springs in the front seat rails, which could prevent the seats from locking in place. Included are the 2006-2010 Yaris hatchback, 2007-2010 Yaris sedan and the 2008-2010 Scion XD.

Toyota said it is currently working on remedies for the problems. Dealers will replace the defective parts for free when replacement parts are available.

The Pontiac Vibe, which is made by General Motors Co., is included in the recall because Toyota designed and engineered it for GM when the two companies shared a factory in California. GM says 40,500 Vibes will be recalled, and says GM dealers will make repairs when Toyota sends them the parts.

The air bag issue is unrelated to a separate GM recall of 2.6 million vehicles for an ignition switch defect that can also deactivate the air bags. The Vibe isn't included in that recall.

Toyota said no injuries or crashes have been reported related to the recalls.

By region, the recall affects 2.3 million vehicles in North America, 1.09 million vehicles in Japan and 810,000 vehicles in Europe. Other regions affected by the recall include Africa, South America and the Middle East.

The recall is one of Toyota's largest since 2009 and 2010, when the company issued a series of recalls totaling more than 10 million vehicles for various problems including faulty brakes, sticky gas pedals and ill-fitting floor mats.

Toyota is under pressure to announce recalls quickly after a U.S. government investigation found it hid information about past defects. Last month, the company agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle that investigation. It also paid fines totaling $66 million to the U.S. government for delays in reporting unintended acceleration problems.

The company says it has "made fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization, and we are committed to continued improvements."

 

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