This is certainly the season of businesses recalling their products due to manufacturing defects, serious mistakes that can cause accidents, or once it has already happened. Samsung Electronics (KRX:005930) recently had to bring back 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after reports that these devices were exploding.
In the automobile industry too, Ford Motor (NYSE:F) had to recall 113,000 automobiles for fixing a range of issues. The affected vehicles were the Ford Taurus sedans, Lincoln MKS sedans, Ford Flex crossover utility vehicles, Ford Police Interceptor sedans, and the Lincoln MKT SUVs.
This time, it is the turn of Toyota.
Toyota Prius Manufacturing Defects
Toyota Motor Corp. (TYO:7203) of Japan, which competes with Volkswagen AG to be the world’s most selling automobile manufacturer, has decided to recall 340,000 Prius automobiles over a parking brake flaw. These are the latest redesigned hybrid sedans of the automobile maker.
Most of these automobiles are in Japan (212,000). However, the company sold as many as 92,000 of them in the US, and 17,000 in Europe as well. The affected cars are the 2016 and 2017 models.
It was learned that the defects were serious and can even cause accidents. Because of the issues, there is a higher risk that Toyota’s Prius vehicles may roll away and crash.
Toyota has, however, not released any information on the accidents, deaths or injuries that might already have happened before the firm took this decision. But a car rolling away because of a parking brake flaw has already caused accidents with other cars. So the possibility that this might have happened with Toyota as well cannot be ruled out completely.
Toyota just said that there have been no accidents in Japan. But they were silent on whether an accident or death might have happened overseas.
Toyota (TYO:7203) was not available for further comments. The company statement just said, “There is a possibility that the parking brake could become inoperative”. Victor Vanov, the company spokesman, did not provide any specifics. However, he has assured customers that the business will look into the issue and solve the problem quickly.
Parking Issues Can Be Fatal
Incidentally, Ford Chrysler too had to bring back 1.1 million SUV’s and cars in April because of a gear selector issue that was causing confusion on whether the automobiles were in parking mode. In fact, actor Anton Yelchin was killed when his Chrysler rolled down the driveway. It pinned him to a brick post and took his life.