The Recall-a-Thon Rolls On: Toyota Brings in 6.3M Vehicles Globally

Toyota RAV4

General Motors is no longer the sole member of the multimillion-unit recall club for 2014, as Toyota announced on Wednesday that it is recalling 6.39 million vehicles around the world after finding five different defects or faults pertaining to parts ranging from steering to seats, Reuters reports. It’s the company’s second largest recall in its history.

Notably, Toyota says that it is not aware of any injuries or deaths that have occurred as a result of any of the issues, which are present on 27 different Toyota models, including the RAV4 crossover and Yaris subcompact. The case further illustrates that while mass production is key for keeping costs down, problems can become systemic incredibly quickly when they ultimately arise.

The problems were also present in the Pontiac Vibe and Subaru Trezia, vehicles that Toyota partnered on with GM and Fuji Heavy Industries, Reuters said. Few details of the five separate recalls were offered, and it’s still not certain as to whether the faults originated from Toyota’s suppliers or its own manufacturing process, according to Reuters.

The largest of the five recalls covers 3.5 million vehicles to replace a spiral cable that could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned, Reuters cited Toyota as saying, which could cause the air bag to fail in the event of a crash. Another 2.32 million three-door models produced between January 2005 and August 2010 are being brought back in to check for a fault in the seat rails that could cause the seat to slide forward in a crash, increasing the chances of injury to both driver and passenger.


The remaining three recalls cover defective steering column brackets, windshield wiper motors, and engine starters. Toyota’s decision to announce all five recalls at once comes as General Motors is still grappling with its several-million unit recall due to faulty ignition switches, and after Toyota’s record payout of $1.2 billion from the unintended acceleration issues that plagued the company several years ago.

So far automakers have announced 18 major recalls in 2014, a record pace for most recalled units during a single year. Toyota’s shares are lagging during early morning trading as a result, after closing down on Japan’s Nikkei index.

About 2.34 million of the vehicles to be recalled were sold in North America, and another 810,000 were sold in Europe. Toyota likely jumped on the recall as soon as it was able to, perhaps in order to avoid a replay of the unintended acceleration drama or what GM is currently going through with the U.S. government right now due to the lengthy delay it took the Detroit-based company to respond to a safety risk.