In another setback for the world's biggest carmaker, Toyota has recalled 9,900 of its cars in Hong Kong, including the popular Corolla model, after faults were detected in the steering and water-pump systems of vehicles.
Crown Motors Hong Kong, the local distributor of the cars, announced a recall of 8,359 Corolla and 1,567 Prius hybrids produced from June 2003 to April 2009, part of a global recall of 2.77 million vehicles.
The Corolla has been the most popular model of the 1,500 cc category in Hong Kong from the 1990s until recent years, Automobile Association vice-president James Kong Yat-hung said. Its popularity had fallen only when local drivers switched to sports utility vehicles and seven-seaters, he said.
The defect in the steering system may cause "knocking or rattling and possibly a reduction in steering response", according to Bloomberg.
The Prius hybrids have a faulty water pump that might stop functioning, Toyota said.
Repairs should take an hour to complete for the steering shaft and no more than 90 minutes to replace the pump, the company said. It has not received any reports of crashes and injuries resulting from the faults.
Crown Motors gave an assurance that the defects would not cause immediate danger and said it had received no reports of such faults in Hong Kong. Car owners are advised to contact the distributor if they hear abnormal sounds when they turn the wheel or see warning lights flashing.
The recall is the second one announced by Toyota in two months. In October, the company announced it would recall 7.43 million vehicles for a possible flaw that could lead the power-window switch to melt or catch fire.