Nov. 14 - Toyota says it will recall 2.8 million cars in the second multimillion vehicle recall in less than two months. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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2.8 million Toyotas, mostly second-generation Prius and certain Corolla models, will be taken off roads around the world. The globe's top automaker has to fix glitches in a steering mechanism, as well as the hybrid system water pump.
Toyota's representatives say the steering issue can be fixed in 50 minutes, and the water pump in 1.5 hours, but the problem is, this is Toyota's second multimillion-vehicle recall in a little over a month.
Clarence Ditlow, executive director for The Center for Auto Safety, says the recall is part of Toyota's continued growing pains.
SOUNDBITE: CLARENCE DITLOW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE CENTER FOR AUTO SAFETY (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"The fundamental issue is this. In the early 2000's Toyota concentrated in becoming number one in world sales of vehicles. What they did is they shortchanged quality and engineering in that process. So, they were successful in getting to number one, but now they have a backlog of vehicles with poorer quality. And so, while they focus on restoring quality to the new vehicles, they have all these older vehicles with defects that keep getting recalled and recalled."
In October, Toyota pulled back more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide to fix faulty power window switches. It was the industry's biggest single recall since Ford Motor took 8 million vehicles off the road in 1996.
A series of Toyota recalls involving more than 10 million vehicles between 2009 and 2011 damaged the firm's image, but it recovered and earlier this month raised its full-year net profit forecast to $9.7 billion, citing solid sales.
The defects that caused the most recent 2.8 million recall caused no accidents, but could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to repair, according to an analyst estimate.
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