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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Toyota Recalls 6.4 Million Vehicles, Raising New Questions About Its Quality Controls

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Five defects spur world’s No. 1 automaker to launch massive recall. The action announced today by Toyota Motor Corp. involves nearly 6.4 million vehicles worldwide and 27 models, including the RAV4, Corolla, Yaris, Matrix and Highlander. The recalls were prompted by defects with seat rails, cables connected to air bags, engine starters, steering column brackets and windshield-wiper motors. Engine-starter defects led two vehicles in Japan to catch fire, but Toyota said it wasn’t aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by the problems. The most widespread problem is with the spiral cable assembly attached to air bags, an issue affecting 3.5 million vehicles. The recalls are a fresh blow to Toyota’s reputation for quality, and follow the company’s agreement last month to pay a $1.2 billion criminal penalty to settle a U.S. investigation. The Wall Street JournalBloomberg

GM gets slapped with a $7,000-a-day fine — and a warning about possible Justice Department action. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told General Motors in a letter that it was imposing the fine, retroactive to April 3, because the company still hasn’t provided enough answers about its ignition switch recall. NHTSA also warned that it could refer the case to the Justice Department as early as today because of GM’s “failure to fully respond” to the agency’s 107 questions about...

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