Toyota to recall 885,000 vehicles

Toyota Camry car The Camry is the best selling car in the US, which is a key market for Toyota

Toyota is recalling 885,000 vehicles to fix a problem that could cause a water leak from the air conditioning unit.

It said water could leak into the airbag control module, causing a short circuit and triggering a warning light.

In some cases airbags "could become disabled or could inadvertently deploy" and in limited cases the power steering function could be disabled, it added.

The models affected by the recall are the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, and Venza made in 2012-13.

Some 847,000 cars will be recalled in North America, while the rest will be in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

A spokeswoman for Toyota told the BBC that it had received reports of two minor injuries due to the issue, but there had been no reports of any vehicles crashing.

Reputational damage?

This is the third major recall that Toyota has issued in recent weeks.

Last month, the company called back more than 780,000 vehicles in the US to address a suspension defect in its RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h models, after fears that an initial recall last year did not fix the problem.

Analysis

Toyota's latest announcement puts the number of recalls over the past two years at nearly 20 million. That is far more than the number it called back in 2009 and 2010 - widely seen as the worst years for its reputation.

Toyota's sales had suffered in the aftermath of those recalls, which were prompted by problems with accelerator pedals becoming trapped under floor mats.

The current recalls haven't been linked to any major incidents or crashes. But 20 million is a huge number and the recalls have been spread across various models and unrelated issues.

It is a big blow for Toyota, which has been trying to rebuild its reputation as a maker of high quality cars.

In September, it recalled 615,000 Sienna minivans in the US to fix a lever problem that could cause vehicles to shift out of park mode "without the driver depressing the brake pedal".

Toyota said at the time that it was aware of 24 "minor accidents" due to the issue.

In recent weeks more than 2.2 million vehicles have been recalled.

Analysts said the recalls could have an impact on its reputation with the customers.

"Repeated recalls definitely dent the image of any carmaker," Vivek Vaidya, an auto analyst with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan told the BBC.

"If you have one big recall, it is still manageable. But if (a company) calls back different vehicle models at different times for unrelated issues, customers tend to have a re-think about your quality assurance.

"And if the problem involves airbag deployment - it becomes a serious issue," he added.

The latest move takes the total number of cars recalled by Toyota this year to six million vehicles.

More on This Story

Global Car Industry

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features

  • An ant and a humanAnts v humans

    Do all the world's ants really weigh as much as all the humans?


  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos


  • An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter holds a position as smoke billows on the front line in Khazer, 40 km West of Irbil, in northern Iraq on 16 September 2014. Propaganda battle

    Why Islamic State wants the West to put boots on the ground


  • Toronto Mayor Rob FordFord nation

    Toronto mayor's enemies unite with him in new battle


From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • TokyoThe Travel Show Watch

    Japan has a reputation for being expensive but can you visit without breaking the bank?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.