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Toyota recalls 114,000 hybrid vehicles worldwide

Toyota Motor Corp said it would recall about 114,000 hybrid cars in Japan, Europe and the United States because of faulty transistors in control boards.

Toyota said it would conduct a voluntary safety recall in the U.S. involving about 45,500 Highlander hybrid sports utility vehicles and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h sports utility vehicles.

Some transistors in the recalled cars were “inadequately soldered and could be damaged from heat during high-load driving,” Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. said.

In most cases, the vehicles would enter a fail-safe driving mode, resulting in reduced power, Toyota said. In the worst case, the vehicles could stop, the carmaker said.

In Japan, Toyota is also recalling 11,164 of the same vehicles for the same problem, a company spokeswoman said.

Toyota is also recalling about 15,000 in Europe, including 4,000 in Britain and 1,700 in Germany, the spokeswoman said.

In Canada, about 3,000 of the same vehicles were being recalled, she said.

Toyota has not received any reports of injuries or accidents related to the problem, she said.

In June, Toyota recalled nearly 106,000 Prius hybrid cars globally over a problem with their steering gearboxes.

Toyota has recalled millions of vehicles since late 2009, which has tarnished its reputation for safety and quality.

On Tuesday, ratings agency Moody’s cut the credit rating of Toyota by one level to Aa3, the third-highest, from Aa2 in the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in March, which closed Toyota factories and disrupted its supply chain.

“It would take some time for Toyota to recover its previous strong profitability,” Moody’s said. 

(DPA)
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