World Bulletin / News Desk
Japan's Toyota Motor Corp announced a massive recall on Wednesday to fix malfunctioning power window switches, saying it will pull back 7.43 million vehicles worldwide in the biggest single recall since 1996, performed by Ford Motor Co.
The move comes as Japan's biggest automaker tries to rebuild trust after a series of recalls between 2009 and 2011 in which it pulled back around 10 million vehicles, and as it struggles with plummeting Chinese sales as a result of a Sino-Japanese territorial dispute.
The recall primarily affects cars in the United States, China and Europe. Toyota's main rivals in the U.S. include Ford and General Motors Co, while in China they include Volkswagen AG, Hyundai Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, and in Europe Hyundai and Nissan.
The recall will include some Yaris and Corolla models on which the power window switches can be repaired in about 40 minutes, the company said.
"The process to repair (the power window switch) is not an extensive one," spokeswoman Monika Saito said, adding that it would involve putting heat-resistant lubricant on the switches, or exchanging them.
Toyota declined to disclose how much the recall would cost, or how it might affect its earnings.
The recall will include 2.47 million vehicles in the United States, as well as 1.40 million vehicles in China and 1.39 million vehicles in Europe.
In Japan, Toyota is recalling about 459,300 vehicles, including the Vitz, produced between 2006 and 2008.
The firm is also recalling 650,000 vehicles in Australia and Asia, 490,000 vehicles in the Near and Middle East, 240,000 vehicles in Canada and 330,000 vehicles elsewhere, said Shino Yamada, another spokeswoman for Toyota.
The vehicles recalled outside Japan include certain models of the Yaris, Vios, Corolla, Matrix, Auris, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia, xB and xD produced between 2005 and 2010.
The first time the problem was reported was in September 2008 in the United States, Saito said.
No accidents, injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the problem, though there is a possibility that the malfunctioning switches could emit smoke, she said.
The move comes a day after Toyota reported that its sales fell 48.9 percent year-on-year in China in September. Japanese car brands have suffered as a result of an outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in China in response to a territorial dispute between the two countries.
In 1996, Ford pulled back 8 million vehicles to replace defective ignition switches that could have caused engine fires.
Shares in Toyota ended down 1.90 percent, while the broader Nikkei index fell 1.98 percent.
OPEC's influence is waning as it fails to cut production Thursday amid falling oil prices, while divisions between its member states deepen, experts say.
A controversy surfaced recently after the Public Account Committee (PAC) released a report accusing senior government officials of having fraudulently authorized payment of at least $122 million of public funds to a private company
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez left the meeting visibly angry and declined to comment on the outcome.
A number of potential deals under discussion in recent months could benefit from concessional financing from Tokyo.
The WTO has lurched from one disappointment to another over the past decade as it tries to find a balanced trade deal that all its members, now numbering 160, could support.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he expected the oil market "to stabilise itself eventually" but did not comment on talks with Russia held on Tuesday
Ergun Olgun, the Turkish Cypriot negotiator, said their own exploration would continue and even accelerate if Greek Cypriots pressed ahead with their plans to allow multinationals to exploit the area.
The decision to devalue the naira, according to analysts and central bank figures, appears aimed at saving the country's dwindling foreign reserves
Oil market watchers are divided on the outcome of OPEC's meeting in the Austrian capital. Predictions range from a large production cut to revive prices, to a small reduction, or none at all
The proliferation of smugglers' routes into Bolivia shows how difficult it is to eradicate illegal mining without better coordination across frontiers.
Falling crude prices are fueled by slowing global growth and increased supply.
Ukraine's leading banks said most of their loans to Crimean individuals and businesses were now delinquent.
Deputy Energy Minister Jaime Himende said that "Mozambique has great hydroelectricity potential, and recently they have taken some bold steps to use renewable resources efficiently"
Obama, who hosted Modi in Washington in September, will in January become the first U.S. president to visit India twice, completing a remarkable warming in the relationship
The combined damage inflicted on Russia's economy by Western sanctions and falling oil prices totals about $140 billion.
PM Mahlab said that Egypt eyes sustainable growth to improve the living conditions of Egyptians, noting that the Egyptian economy is currently recovering.