Two joint-ventures the Japan-based auto giant Toyota set up in China Tuesday began to recall 688,314 motor vehicles that had been well received around the nation for malfunction of windows caused by auto part defects.
This is the largest auto recall in terms of the number of vehicles involved since 2004 when China ushered in an auto recall system.
The two joint-venture companies, one in northern China's Tianjin municipality and the other in southern China's Guangzhou city, are Toyota's two leading car manufacturing bases in the Chinese mainland.
Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. based in the northern city said that the faulty cars had a defect in the electric window system that could cause malfunctions, short circuits and even a fire. No injuries have been reported due to the defect, company sources said.
According to a Toyota statement filed with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the vehicles involved are Guangzhou Toyota's 384,736 Camrys produced between May 15, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2008, one of the most popular models in the midsize sedan segment in China, and 22,767 Yaris compact cars manufactured between May 15 and Dec. 31, 2008.
The recall also affected 35,523 Vios cars made from Feb. 18 to Dec. 25, 2008, and 245,288 Corolla models produced between May 17, 2007, to Dec. 25, 2008, the statement said.
Owners of the affected cars can contact Toyota from Tuesday to get faulty window switches replaced free of charge.
Company sources said the faulty parts originated from one supplier but did not disclose its name.