Toyota Recalls 6.4 Million Vehicles Worldwide

Toyota Motor Corp. announced today that it is recalling 6.39 million vehicles worldwide for a variety of problems including issues with seat rails, airbag deployment and steer columns. This marks the companies third million-vehicle recall in five years.

The recall affects a total of 27 Toyota vehicle models, including the Corolla, RAV4, Matrix, Yaris, Highlander and Tacoma, as well as the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia. All vehicles were produced from April 2004 through August 2013, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Toyota reported 2.32 million vehicles with defects to seat rails and 3.5 million vehicles with defects relating to a cable attached to the airbag module. Additional defects include the bracket holding the steering column in place and the windshield-wiper motor. Some of the vehicles have more than one of the reported issues.

Officials say two vehicles in Japan caught fire because of an engine-starter defect. However, there were no reports of crashes, injuries or fatalities related to today’s recalls.

The Pontiac Vibe, a General Motor vehicle, was recalled because the SUV is made at the same plant in California as the recalled Toyota Matrix, Detroit News reports.

That recall issue involves a spiral cable attached to an airbag. Company officials say it is unrelated to the separate GM recall involving ignition switches.

The Subaru Trezia was recalled because the model is the same as the Toyota Ractis. Toyota owns a portion of Subaru.

A Toyota spokeswoman tells the Wall Street Journal that the company issued five recalls simultaneously “in line with our policy to disclose safety-related issues promptly.”

In all, North America is home to 2.3 million of the recalled vehicles, while 1.09 million are in Japan and 810,000 are in Europe.

This isn’t the first major recall Toyota has faced by any means. Since 2009 the company has been involved in more than a dozen recalls, at least three of which included millions of vehicles.

In October 2012, the company announced the recall of 7.43 million vehicles in the United States, Japan and Europe because of a faulty power-window switch that could cause smoke because of friction. Just one month later the company recalled 3 million vehicles worldwide for steering and water pump issues.

Just last month a four-year criminal investigation into claims of sudden unintended acceleration of those vehicles ended when Toyota reached $1.2 billion deal with the Justice Department.

The acceleration issues began coming to light in 2009 following the tragic death of an off-duty California Highway Patrolman and his family in a Lexus. The vehicle went off the road at around 120 mph, but not before someone in the car called 9-1-1 urgently seeking help because they could not get the car to slow down. Toyota still faces a number of civil lawsuits resulting from the issues.

In February, the company recalled 1.9 million Priuses to fix a software glitch that could slow or stop the vehicles unexpectedly.

The Prius also faced issues in January when the company halted the sale of the car after it discovered the padding in seat heaters didn’t meet flammability standards.

Toyota Recalls 6.4 Million Vehicles [The Wall Street Journal]

Toyota recalls about 6.4 million vehicles globally [Detroit News]

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