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Business

Toyota recalls more cars over airbag issues

Japan carmaker Toyota has once again recalled hundreds of thousands of vehicles to fix a problem caused by faulty air conditioning units. The news adds to the world’s biggest auto makers’ safety woes.

Toyota Motor Company was recalling 885,00 vehicles worldwide over a defect that could prevent airbags from deploying, the Japanese carmaker said Friday.

The recall was affecting primarily its Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza models made between 2012 and 2013. Some 800,000 of these cars were sold in North America, while the rest was owned by customers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

German customers were not affected by the recall Toyota added, as these models were not sold in Europe's biggest car market.

According to Toyota, the recall was caused by water leaking out from the air conditioning condenser unit onto the airbag control module. The leak could trigger a short circuit so that airbag warning lights turn on or the airbag itself could be disabled and might not deploy in an accident.

Moreover, the problem could cause the power-steering system to fail, making it difficult to turn a vehicle, especially at lower speeds.

Toyota said the defect had already caused two minor injuries, but no accidents. The latest recall takes the total number of cars to be repaired by Toyota free of charge to 6 million vehicles this year.

The world's biggest auto maker by sales, has faced a series of recalls in recent year, including one related to unintended acceleration, in which vehicles have raced out of the driver's control.

In the US car market, Toyota had more vehicles recalled than any other manufacturer for four of the last five years. This year the Japanese are well-positioned for the top spot, as well.

uhe/hc (dpa, AFP)