Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Cars are being readied for shipment at the Port of Yokohama in Japan. Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images
Cars are being readied for shipment at the Port of Yokohama in Japan. Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images

Car recalls issues: From acceleration at Toyota to spiders at Mazda

Toyota suffered a hugely damaging blow to its reputation for quality between late 2009 and early 2011 when it recalled more than 10 million cars.

Some notable car recalls in recent history include:

Toyota suffered a hugely damaging blow to its reputation for quality between late 2009 and early 2011 when it recalled more than 10 million cars due to sudden unintended acceleration as well as brake and fuel pump problems.

The acceleration issue was tracked to floor mats getting lodged in the foot pedal well and to the pedal getting mechanically stuck. Numerous lawsuits were launched against the car maker but some of the problems were also attributed to driver error - mistaking the brake pedal for the accelerator. In December, Toyota reached a settlement worth more than US$1 billion to resolve the lawsuits. There have been a number of further Toyota recalls since, for other glitches, such as 7.4 million cars called back in October because a faulty window switch was a possible fire hazard.

***

In March 2010, the US giant General Motors recalled 1.3 million compact cars due to problems with their power steering system. Three months later, it called back 1.5 million lorries, crossovers and cars because the unit that heats windscreen washer fluid could catch fire.

***

German car makers have had major recalls too. In October 2010, BMW recalled 350,000 cars worldwide due to possible brake problems with its 5, 6 and 7 Series. In March last year, the car maker called back 1.3 million Series 5 and Series 6 vehicles due to a problem with a battery cable cover in the boot. And in February this year it recalled 750,000 cars in the United States, Japan, Canada and South Africa due to a possible electrical failure that could cause the engine to stall or prevent it from starting. VW has recalled half a million cars including its best-selling Golf and the Passat model this year due to its gearbox, which appears to be having trouble coping with hot, humid climates. It has recalled vehicles in China, Japan, Singapore and Australia.

***

In April, South Korea's Hyundai and its Kia affiliate took 1.8 million cars off US roads because of faulty brake light switches, which meant stepping on the brake may fail to illuminate the brake lights and fail to deactivate cruise control.

Airbags are a frequent reason for recalls. Between 2008 and 2011, Honda recalled 1.65 million vehicles because of the risk that airbags may inflate at too high a pressure.

In April, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda recalled 3.4 million vehicles because of defective airbags supplied by Takata. Takata airbags also led to a BMW calling back some 220,000 cars this year.

**

Sometimes, the reason for a recall is simply bizarre.

A tiny spider led to some 65,000 Mazda cars being called back in 2011. Yellow sac spiders were found to have moved into the fuel system of 20 Mazda 6 saloons. Their sticky webs could block an air vent to the fuel tank, potentially leading to negative air pressure inside the tank, leading to cracks and the possibility of fire. That never actually happened but Mazda fitted a spring to keep the spiders out in future.

An ingenious Mazda spokesman tried to get a bit of it positive publicity from the case, declaring the spider may have been attracted by the specific growl of the 4-cylinder engine.

 

business@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National