Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Toyota recalls more than 6 million vehicles worldwide

Company’s second-largest recall involves five faulty parts, comes as carmakers face rising scrutiny over safety issues

Toyota said Wednesday it is recalling 6.76 million vehicles globally for a variety of problems with 27 Toyota models in Japan, the United States and Europe.

The announcement comes as major automakers face increasing scrutiny in the United States on how quickly they take preventive safety action, and how quickly they share information with regulators and the public.

Toyota’s latest recall was issued after the company found five different faults with parts ranging from steering to seats. It is the company’s second-largest such announcement since October 2012, when it recalled 7.43 million of its Yaris, Corolla and other models over a faulty power window switch.

No injuries or crashes have been reported related to the recalls announced Wednesday. But two reports of fires are linked to one of the problems: a defective engine starter that can keep the motor running.

Some vehicles were recalled for more than one problem. The recall includes vehicles for 27 Toyota models, the Subaru Trezi and two models Toyota produced for General Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries from April 2004 through August 2013.

The Pontiac Vibe, a General Motors model, is involved in the recall because Toyota built the car for GM. The Vibe is virtually identical to the Toyota Matrix, with a few differences in features. Toyota has long produced cars for GM, and the U.S. car company has shared technology with Toyota for production in its cars around the world.

The Pontiac Vibe was recalled for a problem with a spiral cable attached to an air bag, unrelated to a separate GM recall over ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.

Subaru is partly owned by Toyota, and its Trezi model is similar to the Toyota Ractis.

For the recall, Toyota also reported problems with seat rails, the bracket holding the steering column in place, the windshield-wiper motor and a cable attached to the air bag module.

The recalls affect a range of models including the Corolla, RAV4, Matrix, Yaris, Highlander and Tacoma.

By region, the latest recall affects 2.3 million vehicles in North America, 1.09 million in Japan and 810,000 in Europe. Other regions affected by the recall include Africa, South America and the Middle East.

Toyota did not say how much the recall would cost, and it was not clear if the flaws with the various parts originated with Toyota’s suppliers or its manufacturing process.

Toyota was embroiled in a massive recall crisis in the U.S. starting in late 2009 and continuing through 2010, covering a wide range of problems including faulty floor mats, sticky gas pedals and defective brakes. In response, it has become quicker to recall cars.

Last month the Japanese automaker reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to pay a $1.2 billion penalty for hiding information about defects in its cars. It earlier paid fines of more than $66 million for delays in reporting unintended acceleration problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration never found defects in electronics or software in Toyota cars, which had been targeted as a possible cause.

The U.S. auto industry has recently shifted focus to another major recall problem, this time with defective ignitions in compact cars made by GM. The issues with GM vehicles have been linked to a dozen deaths, and the company has recalled 1.6 million vehicles.

This year has seen a flurry of recalls. In the first two months, major automakers issued 18 separate recalls in the United States alone.

Al Jazeera and wire services

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