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Toyota has reported a 4.7% year-on-year rise in net income for Q4 of 2015, to 627.9 billion yen ($5.37 billion), due in part to stronger sales in the US.
The Japanese company, the world’s biggest automaker, also raised its North America sales forecast for the full year to March, because of the higher US demand.
However, operating profit for the quarter fell by 5.3%, missing forecasts.
The car industry has been hurt by a global slowdown, particularly in China.
Toyota said net income for the year to March was still likely to come in at 2.27 trillion yen.
“Our latest forecast remains unchanged from the previous forecast, having reflected both positive factors – such as progress in cost reduction and the weaker-than-expected yen so far,” managing officer Tetsuya Otake said.
In the nine months to December, Toyota said consolidated vehicle sales came in at 6,492,784 vehicles – a decrease of 246,374 compared with the same period last a year earlier.
It said sales in North America had increased by 33,032 vehicles to 2,140,655 because of strong demand from the US.
In Asia, however, vehicle sales fell by 112,478 vehicles to 1,016,235 over the nine months.
In the face of slowing global growth, Toyota has been trying to cut costs and improve productivity at its factories. It has also faced a string of recalls in recent months.
Earlier this week, Toyota announced a recall of 320,000 trucks and SUVs over problems with airbags, saying they could inflate without a collision.
In November 2015, Toyota recalled 1.6 million vehicles equipped with faulty airbags. In October 2015, Toyota recalled 6.5 million vehicles over a faulty window switch.
The company has recalled about 15 million vehicles fitted with the bags since 2013.
On February 5, Toyota also announced a share buyback of about 150 billion yen worth of outstanding shares.
Despite the recall worries, Toyota won back the crown of the world’s largest automaker by sales in the first nine months 2015 from Germany’s Volkswagen.
Toyota has decided to recall another 1.6 million vehicles equipped with faulty airbags.
The automaker has recalled nearly 15 million vehicles fitted with the bags since 2013.
This recall includes 22 models sold in Japan, including the Corolla and Vitz, made between January 2004 and December 2005, as well as vehicles in Italy, the UK and Spain.
The airbags, manufactured by Japan’s Takata, can explode with too much force, sending out shrapnel.
No injuries were reported in Toyota vehicles related to the latest defect, which affects the passenger seat airbag, but a person in a Nissan car was injured recently in Japan.
Toyota, Ford, Honda and Nissan have decided not to use Takata inflators in vehicles under development.
At least eight people have been killed worldwide and hundreds injured in incidents involving the bags.
In the US, where over 19 million vehicles have been recalled because of the problem, it faces penalties of up to $200 million as part of a deal with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The recalls have wiped out Takata’s profits.
This month, it reported a half-year loss of 5.6 billion yen ($45.8 million) due to recall costs and cut its profit forecast for the full year by 75%.
Toyota is recalling 1.75 million vehicles worldwide over faulty brake installations and fuel component issues.
The latest brake defect is found in some models of Toyota’s Crown Majesta, as well as the Noah and Voxy models produced between June 2007 and 2012.
The Japanese carmaker said approximately 802,000 vehicles globally had a faulty brake system, which could crack and result in the brake fluid leaking.
This recall affects the Crown Majesta, Crown, Noah and Voxy models produced between June 2007 and June 2012.
Toyota will replace a rubber seal ring in the brake master cylinder to prevent brake fluid from leaking. If brake fluid has already leaked, the brake booster will be replaced.
Toyota is recalling 1.75 million vehicles worldwide over faulty brake installations and fuel component issues
In another set of recalls announced at the same time, Toyota said 759,000 vehicles globally had a faulty fuel delivery pipe system which could result in a leak and increased the risk of the vehicle catching fire.
The fuel pipe issue applies to various Lexus models manufactured between January 2005 and September 2010.
This fuel delivery pipe problem affects about 423,000 vehicles in the US, 240,000 cars in Japan and nearly 70,000 vehicles in Europe and the Middle East combined.
Toyota also disclosed that approximately 190,000 vehicles had faulty fuel suction plates in them, which could lead to a fuel leak and increase the risk of the cars catching fire.
This recall affects only vehicles in Japan, specifically the Corolla Rumion and Auris models manufactured between October 2006 and October 2014.
Last month, Toyota recalled 690,000 Tacoma pickup trucks in the US because of a potential vulnerability in the vehicles’ suspension systems.
Earlier this year in April, Toyota issued a recall of 6.4 million cars worldwide because of several issues, including problems with the airbag cable and windscreen wiper motors not working properly.
The latest recalls came to light after the close of trade on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Before the news, Toyota shares closed up by 0.2% at 5,990 yen ($55) apiece.
Toyota is recalling about 650,000 vehicles in Japan because of Takata’s potentially defective airbags, the carmaker announced on Wednesday.
The Japanese carmaker said the move will expand a costly recall it announced in 2013 because the supplier, Takata Corp, had not fully identified the problematic parts.
Shares of Takata dropped after the announcement and were down over 4% when the Tokyo market closed.
A Takata spokesman said that more vehicles could be recalled by other manufacturers because of potential airbag inflator defects.
Toyota is recalling about 650,000 vehicles in Japan because of Takata’s potentially defective airbags (photo Reuters)
Carmakers including Toyota, Honda, Nissan Motor Co and BMW in 2013 recalled 3.6 million vehicles in total due to problems with the airbag inflator that could potentially explode and injure the driver or passengers. Those airbags were manufactured by Takata.
Honda and Nissan also said they were investigating whether they needed to recall more vehicles due to this problem.
Toyota said it was expanding the recall it announced in April 2013 that involved 2.14 million vehicles because the serial numbers that Takata had provided for potentially flawed airbag inflators had been incomplete.
In a further step, Toyota said it would instruct its dealers in the US and other overseas markets to begin replacing suspect Takata inflators on all of the vehicles covered by last year’s recall. Previously, the carmaker had asked its dealers to inspect the airbags and only replace those that were judged to be defective.
Toyota said it had been notified of one case in which a defective airbag inflator had caused a seat cover to burn. It said all of the recalled vehicles were equipped with passenger-seat airbags that could be defective and deploy “abnormally” in the event of an accident.
Toyota vehicles covered by the recall include the Corolla and Camry sedans, and Tundra trucks.
Takata has acknowledged to US safety regulators that it improperly stored chemicals and botched the manufacture of the explosive propellants used to inflate airbags.
The company has also said that it kept inadequate quality-control records which made it impossible to identify vehicles with potentially defective airbag inflators a decade or more after they were manufactured at factories in the US and Mexico.
The Takata recall in 2013 was the largest airbag-related recall in history and came after a series of accidents and at least two deaths allegedly caused by faulty airbags.
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Toyota is now recalling a total of 6.4 million cars globally due to five separate issues.
Some 3.5 million cars are being recalled to replace a spiral cable attached to the driver’s side airbag.
It may be damaged when the steering wheel is turned and result in the airbag not being deployed in a crash.
Other issues include problems with seat rails, steering columns, windscreen wipers and a glitch with the engine starters that poses a fire risk.
Toyota is now recalling a total of 6.4 million cars globally due to five separate issues
Toyota said it was not aware of any vehicle crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by these conditions.
However, it said it had received two reports of fires due to the engine starter problem.
The carmaker said that “due to inefficiencies in the design of the starter motor relays, metallic particles might accumulate on the contacts within the relay”.
It said that if the relays continue to be used the particles could come off and enter the relay’s circuitry and in the “worst case, this could lead to the starter relays catching fire”.
Approximately 20,000 cars involving six Toyota models and the Subaru Trezia are being recalled to replace both engine starter relays and the engine starter motor.
Other recalls include:
- Approximately 2.32 million cars over problems with the seat rails
- Some 760,000 cars due to a potential defect with the steering column bracket
- Nearly 160,000 cars to replace the windshield wiper motors
Overall, the five issues affect 27 models.
Toyota has decided to recall 2.7 million cars worldwide because of problems with the steering wheel and water pump system.
The recall affects nine models, including the Toyota Corolla and the second-generation Prius.
It comes four weeks after the firm recalled more than seven million vehicles worldwide, including some Corolla and Camry models, over faulty window switches.
Toyota is Japan’s biggest carmaker.
Joichi Tachikawa, a spokesman for Toyota, said the problem with the steering wheel was to do with “insufficient hardness of the steering shaft”.
He explained that due to this, the splines which connect the extension shaft to the gearbox may deform if the steering wheel is “frequently and forcefully turned to the full lock position while driving at a very slow speed”.
“This may create an increased backlash and the splines may eventually wear out over time, which could result in loss of steering ability,” he added.
However, Joichi Tachikawa said that no accidents due to this fault had been reported so far.
Toyota has decided to recall 2.7 million cars worldwide because of problems with the steering wheel and water pump system
Toyota’s reputation was damaged in 2009 by a recall that ended up involving 12 million vehicles and fines from US regulators.
The Japanese carmaker is still trying to rebuild its reputation and regain customer trust after that fiasco, which saw the firm’s head apologizing to consumers.
Its efforts to do so have been dealt a blow over the past few weeks, as it has announced recalls totaling nearly 10 million vehicles.
However, some analysts said that while the latest recalls, which are voluntary, were a setback, they might not cause as much damage to its reputation as the ones in 2009.
“Nobody is perfect. Vehicles nowadays are very complicated,” said Koichi Sugimoto, an auto analyst with BNP Paribas in Tokyo.
“The company is taking appropriate measures to fix the problems, so I don’t think this will cause significant damage to Toyota’s reputation.”