Toyota US unveils repairs plan after mass recall

Toyota's US arm on Monday said it would start fixing a technical glitch in its cars this week after recalling millions of vehicles in a public-relations nightmare for the world's top car maker.

Toyota's US unit said the Japanese company had "developed and rigorously tested" a fix to the problem with accelerator pedals in faulty models and had also come up with "an effective solution" for vehicles currently in production.

"I want to sincerely apologize. I know that the recall has caused many of you concerns and for that I am truly sorry ... I know that we let you down," Jim Lentz, president of Toyota's US sales arm, told US business channel CNBC.

Lentz said the fix could be completed "in a short period of time depending on work force of your dealership. We hope to start these repairs in just a few days. Owners will be notified by mail when to set up a proper appointment."

Toyota pulled up to 1.8 million vehicles in Europe on Friday, the latest in a series of recalls that has affected almost eight million Toyota cars worldwide - more than its entire 2009 global sales of 7.8 million vehicles.

The company has also temporarily halted US production of eight models.

The scandal has hit Toyota's vaunted reputation for quality and safety, analysts said, and executives were going into damage-control mode on Monday by announcing what the company said was a "comprehensive plan" to fix the problem.

The company said that in rare cases, the pedal mechanism could become worn and harder to depress, or get stuck in a partially depressed position.

Toyota engineers have been putting the finishing touches to a repair to insert a "spacer" in the pedal mechanism, in order to increase the tension in a spring and reduce the risk of the pedal staying down.

Toyota, which overtook General Motors in 2008 as the top-selling automaker, has been beset by a series of safety issues that critics say raise questions about whether it sacrificed its legendary quality to become number one.

Toyota's president Akio Toyoda kept a low profile last week as the company, founded by his grandfather over 70 years ago, battled to contain the fallout.

In his first public remarks since the recall went global, the Toyota family scion gave a brief apology to a Japanese television crew on Saturday.

"We're extremely sorry to have made customers feel uneasy," Toyoda told public broadcaster NHK on the sidelines of the Davos forum in Switzerland.

The 53-year-old boss - named a year ago to steer the Japanese automaker through the global economic downturn - faces perhaps his biggest challenge yet handling the safety recall.

Toyota's shares suffered another drop Monday, declining 1.1 percent to 3,450 yen. The stock plunged about 14 percent last week.

Also on Monday, France's PSA Peugeot Citroen said it would recall 97,000 Peugeot 107s and Citroen C1s made in a Czech factory it shares with Toyota.

It said the recall was a precautionary measure and affected European car owners who would be informed of the problem by mail.

The compact models are exclusively produced in the plant in the Czech town of Kolin, and are chiefly destined for European markets, a PSA spokesman said.

bur-dt/nh

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

    £300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

    High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

    £70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

    Teaching Assistant

    £50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

    Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments