Sep. 10, 2013 at 3:11 PM ET
It’s been a tough week so far for Toyota: The automaker has recalled more than one million vehicles in three separate recalls.
Toyota and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced those recalls on Monday, including a recall of a 780,000 cross-overs and hybrids that were recalled last year but may not have been properly fixed.
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This doesn’t bode well for the Japanese car company, which has had more of its vehicles recalled than any other manufacturer operating in the U.S. in three of the last four years.
Toyota Senior Vice President Bob Carter last week told reporters in Detroit that quality and safety are two of the maker’s top priorities, saying that the company had redoubled its efforts in the wake of a series of problems involving so-called unintended acceleration that led to the recall of more than 10 million Toyota products worldwide.
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The bulk of Monday’s recall apply to two vehicles: The 2010 Lexus HS250 hybrid and the 2006 through 2011 Toyota Rav4 crossover, one of the maker’s most popular models.
Toyota, which seemed well on its way to re-establishing its peerless reputation for quality, also said it was recalling 133,091 hybrids from 2006-2010, including the Highlander and Lexus RX 400h models. Toyota said there was a potential for shutting down of the hybrid system, causing the vehicle to stall.
Finally, Toyota is recalling 101,584 Lexus GS 350 and IS 350 models from 2006 and 2011 for loose bolts on the Variable-Valve Timing system gear assembly, potentially causing the engine to stop while driving. The GS 350 was replaced with a new model last year and the IS 350 was replaced earlier this year.
Bolts used to secure the variable valve timing control device can loosen, causing the vehicle to stop while being driven. Early warning for this condition can be an abnormal noise just after start up.
Despite such problems, Toyota’s reputation has largely rebounded from its unintended acceleration problems, notes George Peterson, chief analyst with AutoPacific, Inc., though he cautions that continuing problems with quality and safety could again tarnish the maker’s long-standing reputation.
Joseph Szczesny contributed to this report.
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