Toyota have confirmed the size of their massive car recall in Europe – 1.8 million vehicles will go back to dealers for a tweak on accelerator pedals that are suspected to be behind a string of accidents, some deadly.
Worldwide the recall involves some 8 million cars, by far the biggest post-sale product modification program in the history of automobiles, and it risks serious damage for Toyota, which was celebrating only recently when it overtook General Motors as the world’s biggest carmaker.
“A loss of confidence has a major effect and it can take a long time for such losses to be worked out,” says industry analyst Herbert Becker.
Local rival Honda also has problems with a recall of its own, affecting nearly 650,000 Fit, Jazz and City models worldwide. At issue is a faulty window master switch that can catch fire after water infiltration. One such fire caused the death of a young South African, and there have been two other fires in US models. The recall will begin towards the end of February.