Toyota's Safety Recall Goes Global

Recall is at 5.3 million -- equivalent to more than two-thirds of Toyota's worldwide sales last year of 7.81 million vehicles.

Toyota's coveted safety record took a major new hit on Jan. 28 as a massive recall caused by an accelerator problem grew in the United States and spread to Europe and China for the first time.

Toyota said it now plans to extend that recall to Europe, although it has not yet decided which models and how many vehicles will be affected there.

And the same accelerator defect is prompting Toyota to recall just over 75,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles in China, made in 2009-2010, the Chinese government's product safety watchdog said.

Ford said it was suspending production of a commercial vehicle sold in China which may be suffering the same accelerator problems. "We stopped production of the full-size Transit Classic for China," a Ford spokesman said, adding the company wanted to review the model because they have the same supplier as Toyota.

The company announced a new recall of almost 1.1 million more vehicles in the United States to replace floor mats that could trap accelerator pedals. The company said five models had been added to the recall: the 2008-2010 Highlander, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2009-2010 Venza, the 2009-2010 Matrix and the 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe.

Toyota said the recalls would not affect owners in Japan because the parts involved were not used in vehicles produced there.

The total number of cars and trucks affected by that action now stands at almost 5.3 million -- equivalent to more than two-thirds of Toyota's worldwide sales last year of 7.81 million vehicles.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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