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Toyota in big recall of cars in Japan, maybe abroad

TOKYO, Oct 1, 2002 Reuters is reporting that Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday it would recall 421,542 vehicles in Japan due to potential brake pipe and gearbox defects and that another 360,000 vehicles sold abroad were also affected.

Toyota spokesman Shinya Matsumoto said the automaker was still considering what steps to take abroad.

Japan's largest automaker was not immediately able to provide details of the cost of the recall.

Toyota said 397,263 vehicles in Japan were affected by the potential brake pipe problem. The cars are its best-selling Vitz subcompact, known as the Yaris in Europe, and other models using the same Vitz platform -- the engine and underbody of the car.

Extremely cold weather and repeated stopping and starting on snow-covered roads could result in damage to a brake pipe and possibly reduce the driver's control over the vehicle, the automaker said.

The vehicles were built between October 2000 and April 2002.

Another 24,279 of its Liteace and Townace vans sold in Japan were affected by a potential gearbox defect affecting vehicles built between June 1999 and June 2002.

Toyota said it did not know of any accidents resulting from the potential defects.

A breakdown of vehicles affected overseas and the countries they were sold in was not immediately available