Toyota recalling 6.4 million vehicles worldwide

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 6.39 million vehicles globally for a variety of problems spanning nearly 30 models in Japan, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

It's the automaker's second-largest recall ever, the Reuters news agency notes.

No injuries or crashes have been reported related to the recalls announced Wednesday. But two fires have been reported related to one of the problems, a defective engine starter that can keep the motor running.

Some vehicles were recalled for more than one problem. The recall cases total 6.76 million vehicles for 27 Toyota models, the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia, produced from April 2004 through August 2013.

For the recall, Toyota also reported problems with seat rails, the bracket holding the steering column in place, the windshield-wiper motor and a cable attached to the air-bag module. According to Reuters, Toyota said that cable could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned, and that could result in the airbag not activating after a crash. Toyota said some 3.5 million vehicles were involved.

It wasn't clear whether the issues stemmed from Toyota's suppliers or manufacturing process, Reuters added.

For vehicles in the U.S., Toyota said it is developing fixes for the defective seat-rails and cable assemblies. Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail.

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.

Reuters observes that "Large-scale recalls have become more common in recent years as automakers move to fix defects quickly after Toyota was forced to recall more than 9 million vehicles to address sticky accelerators linked to fatal accidents.

In March, Toyota reached a $1.2 billion settlement with the Justice Department over the safety issues in 2009 and 2010, the largest financial penalty ever imposed on a car company in the U.S. Under the "deferred prosecution" agreement, Toyota admitted that it had misled consumers regarding problems with its vehicles.

Cars Affected by Spiral Cable Issue:

Outside Japan: Certain RAV4, Corolla, Matrix, Yaris, Yaris Sedan, Highlander, Tacoma, Reiz, Hilux, Fortuner, Innova, Land Cruiser Prado, and Camrys assembled in Australia are involved. Also, certain General Motors' Pontiac Vibe vehicles are involved. All vehicles were produced from April 2004 through December 2010

Cars Affected by Seat-Rails Issue:

Outside Japan: Certain Scion xD, Urban Cruiser, Yaris and Yaris sedan vehicles are involved. All vehicles were produced from January 2005 through August 2010

Cars Affected by Steering Column Bracket Issue:

Outside Japan: Certain Toyota Ist, Ractis, and Yaris models. All vehicles were produced from September 2005 through February 2009

Cars Affected by Engine Starter Issue:

Outside Japan: Certain: Porte, Spade, Corolla Axio, Corolla Fielder, Auris, Ractis and Trezia (Subaru). All vehicles were produced from March 2012 through August 2013.

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