The automobile market is witnessing a series of recalls and the latest comes from Toyota Motors Corp. (TM - Analyst Report). The automaker will be recalling 369,000 vehicles worldwide, including about 235,000 in the U.S., roughly 74,000 in Japan and 37,500 in Europe.
Toyota will recall 200,000 Highlander Hybrid models manufactured from 2006 to 2010 and Lexus RX 400h vehicles developed during 2006 to 2008 to fix a hybrid-system problem. The SUV transistors get overheated in the hybrid system, which results in sudden halt of the vehicle.
Toyota is also recalling another 169,000 vehicles including Lexus IS 350, IS 350C and GS 350 made between 2006 and 2011. Toyota is recalling these vehicles to repair an engine bolt defect. These vehicles also face the problem of halting suddenly as bolts get loose in the variable valve timing control device.
Automotive safety recalls were brought into focus by media after Toyota’s announcement of the largest global recall of 3.8 million vehicles in Sep 2009, triggered by a high-speed crash that claimed 4 lives. Later on, Toyota had to face numerous personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in federal courts, hampering its image.
Product recalls can seriously dent a brand’s image. Vehicle recalls, amid the competitive scenario, will adversely affect the company’s brand value.
In Aug 2013, Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., the Chinese arm of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC - Analyst Report), announced that it is recalling all Siwei CR-V vehicles manufactured from Mar 2, 2010, to Aug 30, 2012. The recall is being made to fix a defective front shock absorber piston rod. Honda is recalling almost 408,000 SUVs.
Recently, Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) also announced that it is recalling Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car sedans manufactured from 2005 to 2011. The automaker is recalling 370,000 vehicles in the U.S and Canada to replace a steering shaft.
General Motors Company (GM - Analyst Report) also joined the list of recalling vehicles. Recently, it recalled the diesel version of Chevrolet Sail. The automaker is recalling 4,000 vehicles in India to fix a faulty engine part.