Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • French teenage girls held over Syria jihad plans

    Read more

  • Good borders make good neighbours, Merkel tells Ukraine

    Read more

  • Iceland issues aviation alert on volcano activity

    Read more

  • France will not be 'be pushed around' by Germany

    Read more

  • Libya withdraws as Africa Cup of Nations host

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

Business

Corolla steering problems add to Toyota's woes

Video by Molly Hall

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-18

US regulators have launched a preliminary investigation into reported steering problems on the Toyota Corolla.

AFP - US safety officials have opened an investigation into complaints of steering problems in Toyota's Corolla, the world's best-selling car, a government source said Wednesday.

"We're opening an investigation into the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Corolla for steering issues," a Transportation Department official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Up to 500,000 vehicles could be affected, as long as the investigation is not widened abroad or beyond the 2009 and 2010 models, according to the official.

The Japanese giant said earlier that it was considering recalling the Corolla models over the steering problems.

The 2009-2010 Corolla is among the models involved in Toyota's earlier recalls of millions of vehicles worldwide to fix problems with unintended acceleration.

Toyota also announced it would fit all new models with a system to cut engine power when the driver steps on the accelerator and brake pedals at the same time, to prevent runaway car crashes blamed for dozens of deaths.

If there is a defect in the Corolla that affects safety, "we will start recalls," Toyota executive vice president Shinichi Sasaki told reporters. "We are in the process of investigating."

An AFP examination of complaints lodged with US safety officials found that 110 Corolla drivers reported steering problems in 2009 and 53 so far this year.

The total number of complaints lodged by Corolla owners reached 266 in 2009 and 115 so far this year.

US authorities said this month they were reviewing dozens of complaints about the Corolla -- the world's most popular car ever, with total global sales of more than 30 million since the first version was launched in the 1960s.

There have been reports of the vehicle unexpectedly veering off course at speeds above 40 miles (64 kilometers) per hour.

In an effort to restore confidence in its brand, Toyota said its president Akio Toyoda would head a task force to improve quality control and enable the group to respond more quickly to reports of defects.

But the Toyota family scion, under fire for his handling of the safety problems, signaled he would miss a grilling by US lawmakers next week on the mass recalls, sending one of his top North America executives instead.

"I am sure they are well equipped to respond well to the questions," he told a news conference, his third this month on the safety issues that have tarnished the company's once-glowing reputation.

US authorities on Tuesday demanded that the world's largest carmaker hand over documents to prove it did not drag its feet in recalling the vehicles once it learnt about defects that can lead to unintended acceleration.

Investigators will probe how and when the manufacturer discovered the problems in the recalled Toyota and Lexus vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said.

President Barack Obama's Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has vowed "to hold Toyota's feet to the fire" to make sure its cars are safe, but Toyoda denied his company had ever covered up safety defects.

"We have not withheld information and we shall not do so in the future," said Toyoda, the grandson of the company's founder.

The Japanese giant, which in 2008 dethroned General Motors as the world's biggest automaker, has pledged to fix more than eight million vehicles worldwide, more than its entire 2009 global sales, due to the safety problems.
 

Date created : 2010-02-18

  • AUTO INDUSTRY

    Toyota recalls 10,000 North American trucks

    Read more

  • AUTO INDUSTRY

    Toyota's troubles deepen as US lawsuits loom

    Read more

COMMENT(S)