Toyota made its fourth global recall involving more than a million vehicles this year, as the world’s largest automaker begins operating with stricter supervision over safety from U.S. regulators.
The carmaker is calling back 1.75 million vehicles, including 759,000 Toyota and Lexus sedans to repair fuel pipes that could leak and raise fire risks. While the automaker may accrue hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for the recall, “the cash risk will be much less” because not all customers will get the repairs, said David Whiston, an equity analyst with Morningstar Inc. in Chicago. The company didn’t provide an estimated cost for the recalls.
“A single initial report cannot identify a trend and rarely prompts a recall,” said Dion Corbett, a spokesman, noting that the first report of a problem with these cars came from the U.S. in June 2010. “When we see what might be a trend and investigate the issue, and when we believe there is a safety-related defect, we begin a recall.”
Automakers are under increasing pressure to hasten their recall process and justify the time lag between learning about potential flaws and calling back cars for fixes. The scrutiny has intensified after General Motors Co. (GM) took more than a decade to start replacing deadly ignition switches in some of the record 30 million cars and trucks the company has recalled in North America this year.