Toyota recalls 180,865 vehicles in Britain: reports

Toyota is recalling tens of thousands of cars in Britain amid a mounting worldwide crisis over faulty accelerator pedals that has rocked the Japanese auto giant, media reported Thursday.

A total of 180,865 vehicles might be affected by the problem, according to newspaper reports, and the company said it concerned seven models dating back to 2005.

Some 1.8 million cars are being recalled across Europe and millions more in the US and Japan over fears that accelerator pedals could get stuck.

A statement on the group's British website confirmed the recall but did not say how many cars were affected. Toyota could not be contacted early Thursday.

"It has been identified that there is a small risk of an accelerator pedal fault in certain Toyota models," said the statement.

"We are voluntarily recalling specific models from the range to investigate and eliminate the problem."

The 180,865 figure was reported by the Guardian, The Times and Daily Mail newspapers.

The seven models  affected in Britain are the iQ, Aygo, Yaris, Auris, Corolla, Avensis and Verso, said Toyota. Reports said the first parts are due to arrive in the UK next week for repairs to begin.

The Times said that Toyota also has stopped delivering new vehicles of the seven affected models to British customers until they have been fitted with a new part.

The car giant's British recalls are the latest in a series affecting almost eight million Toyota cars worldwide -- more than its entire 2009 global sales of 7.8 million vehicles.

Pressure is mounting on Toyota, the world's top selling automaker, as angry motorists demand to know why they were not alerted sooner.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Wednesday that safety officials "will continue to hold Toyota's feet to the fire to make sure that they are doing everything they have promised to make their vehicles safe."

American safety officials are investigating about 100 complaints of problems with brakes or sudden acceleration in Toyota's popular Prius hybrid.

The Japanese firm sought to reassure customers Wednesday that its vehicles were safe to drive despite the recalls.

"We want to make sure our customers understand that this situation is rare and generally does not occur suddenly," Toyota's US unit said in a statement.

 

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