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
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    SQL Developer (TSQL, SSRS, SSAS) Fund Manager - London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...

    Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, Angular.JS)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, An...

    Front-End UI/UX Developer (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Ang

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...

    C#.NET Server Side Developer (C#, XML, WCF, Unit Testing,SQL)

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...

    Day In a Page

    All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
    What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

    What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

    Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
    Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

    Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

    Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
    Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

    Radio 1’s new top ten

    The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
    Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

    Florence Knight's perfect picnic

    Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
    Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

    Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

    The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
    Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

    Mark Hix's summery soups

    Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
    Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

    Tim Sherwood column

    I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
    Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

    Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

    Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
    Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

    Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

    The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
    Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

    Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

    The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition