Page last updated at 07:42 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Toyota pressed by US watchdog over recall speed

Toyotal cars on sale in the US
Toyota has said it will cooperate fully

The US car safety watchdog has ordered Toyota to hand over documents relating to its mass vehicle recalls, to see if the firm reacted quickly enough.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it wanted to find out if Toyota conducted the recent recalls "in a timely manner".

Toyota president Akio Toyoda is due to update reporters in Tokyo later.

The carmaker took out full-page ads in major Japanese newspapers to apologise for the recalls.

Toyota said it would "co-operate to provide all the information they have requested" on the US probe.

TOYOTA RECALLS: STORY SO FAR
September 2007, US: 55,000 Camry and Lexus cars in floormat recall
October 2009, US: 3.8m Toyota and Lexus vehicles recalled due to floormat problem
November 2009, US: floormat recall increased to 4.2m vehicles
January 2010, US: 2.3m Toyota vehicles recalled due to accelerator pedal problems (of those, 2.1m already involved in floormat recall)
January 2010, US: 1.1m Toyotas in floormat recall
February 2010, Europe: 1.8m Toyota's in pedal recall
February 2010, Japan, US: 200 reports of brake faults in new Prius. Cars recalled
February 2010, worldwide: 436,000 hybrid vehicles in brake recall. Also, 7,300 Camry vehicles recalled in the US over potential brake tube problems
February 2010, US: 8,000 Tacoma pick-up trucks recalled over concerns about defective shafts

The NHTSA said was "requiring Toyota to provide documents showing when and how it learned of the defects affecting approximately six million vehicles in the US alone".

Toyota is continuing to recall 8.5 million vehicles worldwide because of problems linked to faulty accelerator pedals, accelerator pedals getting stuck in floor mats, and weak braking systems.

Responding to the NHTSA, Toyota said it took responsibility for vehicle safety seriously and to alert government officials of any safety issue "in a timely manner".

Toyota announced on 26 January that was suspending sales and production of eight models in the US, as it seeks to resolve its problems.

The NHTSA said federal law requires all carmakers to notify it within five days of discovering a safety recall, and to promptly conduct a recall.

"Investigators are also looking into whether Toyota discovered the problems during pre-production or post-production of the affected vehicles," it added.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
USA Today Toyota may recall Corolla over steering; U.S. plans probe - 4 hrs ago
Cape TimesFurther blow as Toyota considers Corolla recall - 5 hrs ago
Mail & Guardian Online Toyota to fit brake-override system in future models - 5 hrs ago
The Scotsman Toyota suffers fresh blow over safety - 10 hrs ago
Al Jazeera US begins probe into Toyota recalls - 15 hrs ago
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