* Five faults in parts ranging from steering to seats in 29
* Toyota gives no cost estimate for recall
* Recall is second largest by Toyota to date
(Adds byline, detail and background on recent recalls)
By Chang-Ran Kim
TOKYO, April 9 Toyota Motor Corp, in
its second-largest recall announcement, said on Wednesday that
it would call back 6.39 million vehicles globally after
uncovering five different faults involving parts ranging from
steering to seats.
The world's biggest automaker said it was not aware of any
crashes or injuries caused by the glitches, which were found in
27 Toyota models including the RAV4 and Yaris subcompact.
Toyota said faults were also found in the Pontiac Vibe and
the Subaru Trezia, two models the automaker built for General
Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries.
The automaker did not say now much the recalls would cost,
and it was not clear if the faults stemmed from Toyota's
suppliers or its manufacturing process.
The move by Toyota to announce five different recalls on a
single day from Tokyo comes as major automakers face increasing
scrutiny in the United States on how quickly they take
preventive safety action and how quickly they share information
with regulators and the public.
Toyota agreed last month to pay $1.2 billion to the U.S.
government for withholding information related to unintended
acceleration in its vehicles. That safety crisis had caused
Toyota to recall more than 9 million vehicles.
In a high-profile case that has the potential to change U.S.
safety regulation, Toyota rival General Motors is under
investigation for failing to act on a known ignition switch
defect linked to a dozen deaths. The company has recalled 1.6
million vehicles over the issue.
In the largest of the recalls announced on Wednesday, Toyota
said some 3.5 million vehicles were being recalled to replace a
spiral cable that could be damaged when the steering wheel is
turned. That could cause the air bag to fail in the event of a
crash, the automaker said.
In total, about 2.34 million of the vehicles to be recalled
were sold in North America. Another 810,000 were sold in Europe.
In the second-largest of the Toyota recalls, some 2.32
million three-door models made between January 2005 and August
2010 are being recalled to check for a fault in the seat rails
that could cause the seat to slide forward in a crash, risking
injury for the driver or passengers.
The other recalls are for faulty steering column brackets,
windshield wiper motors and engine starters.
The recall announcement, which came during late afternoon
Tokyo trade, knocked an additional 2 percent off Toyota's
already sagging shares.
They quickly pared the extra losses, however, and ended down
3 percent at 5,450 yen, reflecting an overall weak tone in the
market where the benchmark Nikkei average fell 2.1
Toyota's 6.39 million vehicle recall is the largest
announced on a single day for the company since October 2012,
when it called back 7.43 million Yaris, Corolla and other models
to fix faulty power window switches.
In the first two months of 2014, major automakers had
announced 18 separate recalls in the United States, now the
second-largest auto market behind China, according to the latest
data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety
The recent wave of large-scale recalls represents a source
of revenue for auto dealers who are paid by manufacturers to
service defective cars.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer in BERLIN, Laurence Frost in PARIS
and Chang-Ran Kim in TOKYO; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Ryan Woo)