Toyota is recalling 6.4 million vehicles globally over a number of safety issues.
A total of 35,124 cars in the UK are affected, over a variety of different model lines, and dealers will be contacting customers to arrange remedial work.
Five separate issues have been detected. Potentially the most serious concerns a spiral cable attached to the driver’s airbag. The Japanese manufacturer has identified a possible risk of the cable being damaged during normal operation of the steering wheel, which would result in the airbag not deploying in the event of a crash.
Other issues include problems with seat rails, steering columns, windscreen wiper motors and a defect with engine starter motors that poses a risk of fire.
Toyota recently settled with US regulators over reporting of safety issues for £720m
The manufacturer commented: "Due to inefficiencies in the design of the starter motor relays, metallic particles might accumulate on the contacts within the relay."
It said that if the relays continued to be used, the particles could come off and enter the relay's circuitry and in the "worst case, this could lead to the starter relays catching fire".
Toyota has confirmed that it has received two reports of vehicle fires due to starter motor issues, but said that it was unaware of any crashes or injuries resulting from any of the problems identified.
Whilst it’s concerning to see a high number of cars being recalled, we applaud Toyota for putting the safety of its motorists at the top of the agenda.
Around 20,000 vehicles are affected by the starter motor issue globally, with the majority being recalled to address a fault in the seat rails.
While product recalls are not uncommon in the car industry, this latest action will be disappointing for Toyota, which is seeking to rebuild its reputation for reliability, after issuing four other recalls in recent months.
In February it recalled nearly two million Prius hybrid models due to a software fault that would potentially cause the vehicle to slow down suddenly.
In total, the firm has recalled 25 million vehicles over the past two and a half years.
Phill Jones, Commercial Director of Motors.co.uk, comments: “Whilst it’s concerning to see such a high number of cars being recalled in the UK, we applaud Toyota for putting the safety of its motorists at the top of the agenda before any serious accidents or injuries occur.”
“There have been several global incidents within the manufacturing industry over the past year where cars have been deemed unsafe to drive, but thanks to the quick action from many of the world’s leading car manufacturers, crises have almost certainly been averted."
He added: "The swift actions and refreshing transparency demonstrated by companies such as Toyota mean that their reputations remain intact amongst British consumers, who often accept that mistakes can happen, and we encourage this behaviour to become universal across all industries.”
Toyota owners who are concerned about their vehicle should contact their local dealer.
April 9, 2014