Toyota to recall 185,000 vehicles due to power steering fix

Article by Anita Panait, on July 4, 2013

Toyota Motor Corp. will recall around 185,000 vehicles around the world after discovering a glitch in the electric power steering system that could result to a heavier steering. According to spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto, the recall will affect 130,000 vehicles in Japan, over 7,400 in Italy, around 7,050 vehicles in Germany and about 7,000 in France.

There will also be recalls in the United States and the United Kingdom. The recall will include the Yaris subcompact, which is built in Europe at Toyota's Valenciennes plant in France.

The carmaker launched the third-generation gasoline variant of the Yaris in Europe in summer 2011; and a hybrid variant in June 2012.  Toyota has already recalled Yaris models -- known in Japan as the Vitz -- built between November 2010 and March 2012. Toyota it also recalling the Verso-S -- known in Japan as the Ractis -- built between August 2010 and August 2011.

In a statement, Toyota said that water droplets forming on certain wires in the power steering control module could lead to short circuits. This suspends the power steering assist, making the steering heavier. Hashimoto remarked that no accidents or injuries have been reported from the glitch.

She said that the Japanese carmaker will replace the power steering control module, a process that only takes one to two hours. In June 2013, Toyota said it would recall around 242,000 hybrid vehicles around the world, including the best-selling Prius, due to a brake design flaw. The Yaris accounted for almost 22 percent of Toyota total sales in Europe in 2012.

It was in 1999 when Toyota first launched the Yaris to the European market. Since then, each generation that has been released remain to be in line with the important principle known as “compact outside while roomy inside.” Given how inventive the packaging was of the first two generations, the Yaris was dubbed as little genius or “Piccolo Genio.” For the third generation, the clever packaging design of the previous version can still be seen. The difference is that the design of the exterior has more appeal, given that it is more dynamic, bolder, and more elegant.

This makes it truly apt to be a European compact car. With regards to dimension, the overall length was increased by 100 mm and is now at 3,885 mm. Given that for models under the B-segment the average length is 4 meters, which is 4,000 mm, this ensures that the Yaris will continue to be this segment’s compact models.

Meanwhile the overall width is still at 1,695 mm though total height is at 1,510 mm, lower by 20 mm. This means that the new Yaris has a center of gravity that is lower while being able to showcase a sporting stance. Under all this is a wheelbase which has been lengthened by 50 mm.

The combination of front overhangs, for both the front and the rear, plus the wheel arches made more pronounced, allows the Yaris to show agility, dynamism, and stability. In addition, this new model has a turning circle about 4.7 meters, the best for its class. Because of this, the new model is agile even when doing a drive in the city.

Topics: toyota, recall

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