Last updated at 14:10 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010

Toyota recall reaches Europe

Summary

29 January 2010

Toyota is to expand a huge safety recall of some of its cars to Europe. It has already recalled 2.3 million vehicles in North America and has suspended production and sales of eight models.

Reporter:
Roland Buerk

Toyota vehicles are delivered back to the factory

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Reports

Toyota says the number of vehicles and the models that will be recalled in Europe is still being investigated. It said in some rare cases the accelerator pedal mechanism could become worn and stick while pressed down.

The same problem, which may cause a car to speed out of control, has led to a recall of 2.3 million vehicles in North America. Sales have been suspended of eight Toyota models there, including the best-selling Camry. Production will be stopped for at least a week in the company's factories in the United States and Canada.

In a separate move, Toyota is recalling over 5 million vehicles in the United States to replace accelerators which could become stuck under floor mats. Some vehicles are affected by both problems.

The safety concerns are damaging Toyota's reputation for reliability and quality, which helped it to overtake General Motors to become the world's biggest car maker. In Tokyo the company's shares fell by 3.9% on Thursday on top of a 4.3% drop on Wednesday.

Roland Buerk, BBC News, Tokyo

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Grammar

models

particular types of car

recalled

when a product is ordered to be returned to the company which made it

the accelerator pedal mechanism

the part of a car which you push down with your foot to make it go faster

worn

old and damaged by continued use

stick

when something stays in the same place and cannot be moved

speed out of control

go faster than the driver wishes and could lead to an accident

suspended

stopped temporarily or permanently

in a separate move

a new course of action which has nothing to do with the first

reputation for reliability

well-known or famous for producing cars which are good quality and do not break very often

overtake

become more successful than another thing or company

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