Toyota Issues a Giant Recall; 2014’s Callbacks Continue

Source: thinkstock
Source: Thinkstock

Japanese auto maker Toyota issued a fairly hefty recall on Wednesday that effects 1.67 million vehicles in total. The voluntary recall encompasses vehicles across the globe and addresses three specific defects — most notably a faulty brake cylinder.

The good news? Toyota says that there have not been any reported deaths or injuries as a result of the faulty components. The majority of the vehicles under the recall umbrella will be in Japan, totaling 1.05 million. The remaining 600,000 or so are around the world. Models that are included under the company’s callback include the Crown, Noah, Voxy, Auris, Corolla Rumion, and Crown Majesta. If those models are unfamiliar, that’s because they are sold in overseas markets. Where the recall actually does hit home is in the company’s luxury line Lexus, with IS, GS, and LS models all being recalled. In fact, more than a dozen Lexus models in total are effected.

To dig into the specifics, for the Toyota models listed above that were manufactured between June 2007 and June 2012, the master brake cylinder will need to be inspected. Some will need to be replaced, if brake fluid has been found to have leaked. This specific issue encompasses more than 800,000 of the total vehicles.

For 109,000 front-wheel drive Corolla Rumion and Auris units built between October 2006 and this month, a defective unit that helps control the evaporation of fuel was not included during assembly, and needs to be installed.

Finally, the remaining 759,000 vehicles  — and that includes 429,000 in the United States — have the potential to catch fire due to faulty fuel delivery pipes. Of course, that’s the absolute worst case scenario, and no issues are known to have been reported as of yet.

In case you’re keeping count, this is the fourth recall this year issued by Toyota that involves more than one million vehicles. This follows a couple of other years — 2009 and 2010 — in which Toyota also issued recalls that effected more than 10 million vehicles. This, naturally, has brought on some heat from critics concerned about Toyota’s timeliness in actually addressing issues with its products.

“With the lessons learned from past recalls in North America, Toyota keeps showing the attitude to proactively recall and have everything under control before any serious accident happens,” Takashi Aoki, a Tokyo-based fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co., told Auto News. “I don’t think this recall would damage the brand image, or cause the shares to decrease, as there were no injuries, fatalities or crashes.”

Of course, Toyota has been able to slide under the radar in the court of public opinion, particularly this year. As General Motors has had a year unlike any other in automotive history with recalls of more than 30 million vehicles, Toyota’s shortcomings pale in comparison. Of course, that doesn’t at all give the company a free pass, but it has helped them avoid the limelight to some extent. But, overall, it seems that this recent recall is just one more in a year that has been packed with manufacturer callbacks.

Have we seen the end of the recalls this year, with a month and a half left before the end of the year? Consumers can only hope so, and if anything comes out of all of this, its the hope that perhaps production systems and oversight can be more refined to prevent shortcomings in the future.