Toyota's recall of eight models in Europe over
faulty gas pedals will involve up to 1.8 million cars, the world's
largest automaker said Friday.
It said it will recall the Yaris - its biggest seller in the region
- Corolla, Aygo, iQ, Auris, Verso, Avensis and the RAV4 sports utility
The move extends an embarrassing recall that has already spread to
more than 2.4 million vehicles on three continents, threatening to
undermine the reputation of the world's top auto maker as a
manufacturer of safe, durable vehicles.
A company statement said that because it was still checking how
many cars were involved it could not give a more precise number. No
Lexus and no other Toyota models are affected, it said.
Tadashi Arashima, the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp.'s
European operations, said a problem with a gas pedal that can stick
when partly depressed or return slowly to the idle position "only
occurs in very rare circumstances."
Toyota said it had "identified a remedy for this issue" and it will communicate that to all customers as soon as it has finished evaluations. It gave no more details. Toyota Answers Questions about Gas Pedal Recall
It said only a limited number of incidents had been reported in
Europe and it was not aware of any accidents caused by the problem.
Toyota factories are already using different parts and "therefore there
is no need or intention to stop production in Europe," it said.
The company on Tuesday suspended U.S. sales of eight models -
including the Camry, America's top-selling car - and told Chinese
authorities that it would recall RAV4 vehicles made in China.
Elkhart, Indiana-based CTS Corp., which made the parts, is cranking
out redesigned gas pedal assemblies that fix the problem, which is
caused by condensation around an arm attached to the pedal and springs
that send the pedal back to the idle position.
Toyota has said it is weighing up repairing the pedals or replacing
them - or whether the new pedals will go first to factories to
production of new models can resume or straight to dealers to modify
new cars on their lots.
Also this week, Toyota announced the recall of 1.09 million
vehicles in the United States over concerns that floor mats could bend
across gas pedals, causing sudden acceleration.
CTS also makes pedals for Honda Motor Co., Mitsubishi Motors,
Nissan Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. in China, but the company said
pedals made for those manufacturers don't have the same design. Still,
Ford on Thursday halted production of some full-sized commercial
vehicles in China because they contain CTS gas pedals.
Toyota is not a major player in Europe, where it ranked No. 8 by
sales last year, with a 5 percent share of the market. Its models have
fared badly as customers were nudged toward smaller fuel-efficient
models by cash-for-clunkers government handouts.
Its bestseller in the region is the Yaris, which shifted some
215,921 units last year. The company sold 730,831 cars in the 27-nation
European Union, Norway and Iceland in 2009 - down 4.7 percent from a
year earlier. Sales of the luxury Lexus line fell by more than a