Toyota plans global recall


Toyota will today outline plans on fixing the accelerator pedals behind a series of crashes and the global recall of millions of vehicles as it scrambles to put its worst public relations crisis behind it.

Toyota, whose reputation of quality and reliability helped it overtake General Motors as the world's top car maker, is facing criticism of moving too slowly to address a sometimes deadly problem of unintended acceleration in many of its cars.

Including recalls in China and Europe, some 7.9 million Toyota vehicles are up for repair globally, including a separate problem involving floor mats and pedals.

Toyota, which reports its third-quarter results on Thursday, has been forced to halt sales of eight recalled models in North America, including the top-selling Camry, until it comes up with a fix.

Yesterday, Toyota also kicked off a media blitz with full-page ads in major US newspapers alerting consumers to the recall and production shutdown that will last at least a week.

The recall, which covers almost 1.9 million cars in Europe and China that use faulty accelerator pedals made by US supplier CTS Corp, has spread to some PSA Peugeot Citroen cars made at a joint Toyota-PSA factory in the Czech Republic.

Toyota said today an unknown number vehicles in the Middle East were also fitted with defective accelerators, but the problems seen elsewhere were unlikely to occur there because of the difference in climate.

Toyota said it was studying the necessary remedy for the two models in the Middle East.

The remedy being readied by Toyota and CTS elsewhere involves a shim, also called a spacer, that will be placed in the accelerator to keep it from sticking when affected by condensation, sources said.

Fears of a heavy and protracted blow to Toyota's sales and bottom line have knocked off about $20 billion from its market value in the last week.