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Toyota announces recall of 1.53 million cars

by Kelly MacNeil on October 21, 2010

The Toyota Motor Company came under scrutiny last year when it was revealed that many of the automaker’s most popular models had a number of problems, including gas pedal malfunctions that had the potential to cause the cars to speed out of control. Their troubles continued Thursday, as The New York Times reports that the embattled company announced a worldwide recall of more than 1.5 million vehicles.

The recall was initiated over concerns of malfunctioning breaks and fuel pumps, but officials for the manufacturer stress that the action was taken as a way to be proactive after they were criticized for not doing enough to prevent problems in the past. The majority of the affected models were built between 2004 and 2006, and the automaker is recalling 750,000 cars in North America, 559,000 in Japan and about 190,000 across Europe, Asia and Australia.

Specifically, the problem dealt with an issue in the brake cylinder, causing the cylinder to leak and reduce the amount of breaking power. Additionally, there could be an electrical problem with the fuel pump that could cause the engine to stall. There have not been any accidents related to the issues, and owners of affected cars should be notified through the mail by early next month. Those who have purchased a recalled car will be able to receive the necessary repairs free of charge.

The earlier recall was much larger and involved about 8.5 million cars, which was touched off by a Congressional hearing into the company. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also launched its own investigation and alleged that at least 37 deaths were caused by the malfunctioning accelerator. The sharp criticism led to Toyota president Aiko Toyoda promising consumers that he would improve quality and speed of customer service.

“Every time we announce a recall, that is a step toward increasing quality,” a spokesman for Toyota, Paul Nolasco, told the news source.

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