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More mechanical problems for Toyota, 1.5 million cars recalled

A Toyota logo is pictured outside a dealership near Chester in England.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

JEREMY HOBSON: A big recall from Toyota this morning-- another one, after massive recalls put the company on the defensive earlier this year. We've got news this morning from Tokyo that Toyota has found potential mechanical problems with 1.5 million cars, more than half of them in the U.S. Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman joins us live to go through the details.

Good morning, Mitchell.

MITCHELL HARTMAN: Hi Jeremy.

HOBSON: So first off, which cars are we talking about this time?

HARTMAN: So it's the Lexus, Avalon, and the Highlander -- this is the non-hybrid version. They're 2004-through-2006 models. The problem has to do with the brake cylinder -- it can leak apparently. That would diminish braking power. Now as per usual in these cases, Toyota will notify owners, and fix the cars, no charge. They say no accidents have been reported so far.

HOBSON: No accidents. But Mitchell, Toyota has already recalled I think 10 million cars and trucks worldwide this year, even before this latest recall. How might it affect the company?

HARTMAN: Well, certainly that last recall earlier this year was a reputational nightmare, especially since Toyota executives resisted it for so long before finally doing the right thing. This time around it's clearly different. David Bailey follows the auto industry expert at the Coventry University Business School.

DAVID BAILEY: In this case what we're seeing is Toyota acting quickly to recall over 1 million cars in the U.S. and Japan. But in the car industry recalls are actually pretty common. We've just seen BMW Rolls Royce make big recalls, Toyota doing the same thing. The key thing is identifying the problem, fixing it quickly and reassuring customers.

HARTMAN: Now, it is worth saying Toyota has suffered from all of its recall problems this year. It's taken a while to recover. Its sales are up this year, everyone's are following the end of Cash for Clunkers, but not nearly as strongly as rivals Ford, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, even Chrysler.

HOBSON: Okay, thanks Mitchell.

HARTMAN: You're welcome.


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