Toyota to recall record 1.4 million cars globally

/ Source: The Associated Press

Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s biggest auto maker, said Tuesday it would recall about 1.41 million cars globally -- its biggest ever -- including the Corolla and 15 other models, due to trouble with their headlight switching systems.

The recall, filed with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, was the biggest for a Japanese automaker and beat Toyota’s previous record recall of 797,707 vehicles in 1999, a spokesman said.

Toyota played down the recall’s impact on its earnings, while declining to disclose the specific recall cost.

“The part to be replaced, the headlight switch, is not that expensive,” the spokesman said. “So we don’t expect any major impact on our earnings.”

Toyota has said it would try in the year to March 2006 to match last year’s record net profit of 1.17 trillion yen.

Toyota said it would recall about 1.27 million vehicles in Japan in addition to another roughly 140,000 vehicles exported overseas, including about 70,000 cars in Australia, 19,000 cars in Singapore and 17,000 cars in Thailand.

Toyota said the vehicles to be recalled were manufactured between May 2000 and August 2002.

Separately, in the United States, Toyota said it will notify 72,000 owners of Scion tC sport coupes that the wind deflector on the sunroof of the vehicles may shatter if hit by road debris at highway speeds.

The tC is equipped with a glass wind deflector, which tilts upward when the sunroof is opened. In some cases, pieces of the glass may fall on the occupants and cause injury, Toyota said.

The vehicles involved in the Toyota service action are from 2005 and 2006 model years.