Toyota recalls more than 120,000 cars in China


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Toyota recalls more than 120,000 cars in China due to steering defect

BEIJING December 25, 2008; The AP reported that Toyota Motor Corp. has issued a recall for more than 120,000 cars in China to fix a problem that could result in loss of steering control, China's quality watchdog said Thursday in the latest piece of bad news for the Japanese automaker.

Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co., a joint venture between Toyota and China's FAW Group, will recall 121,930 vehicles beginning Friday, according to a notice on the Web site of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The notice said the recalled models include Crown and Reiz luxury sedans produced between 2005 and 2006, and Lexus cars produced between 2004 and 2006.

The agency said that manufacturing defects could cause the electric power steering systems to fail.

It was not clear if the same models would be recalled in other countries. Toyota officials in Japan could not immediately be reached for comment late on Thursday.

Toyota will contact owners of the affected vehicles, conduct checks and replace defective parts without charge, the Chinese agency said.

The notice did not say if any accidents have resulted from the defects.

The recall announcement was the latest in a string of bad news for Japan's No. 1 automaker. On Monday, the company said it was sinking into its first operating loss in seven decades. Then Wednesday, Toyota reported that global vehicles sales had plunged 21.8 percent in November -- its biggest drop in eight years.

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