Things began to settle down a bit on the Toyota recall front a bit this week, at last. It had been expected over the weekend the Prius would get recalled and the New Zealand unit was first off the mark on Monday with a voluntary recall while head office followed up on Tuesday with a four-model hybrid recall worldwide that included the Prius.

To add to the misery, the US unit also had to announce a Camry recall on top though a misrouted power steer hose is hardly a scandal. Then the repairs began at last around the globe. I feel sorry for the poor technicians who have to do this: (1) remove gas pedal and disassemble; (2) insert rectangular metal shim; (3) reassemble and reinstall (4) repeat (1), (2) and (3) 2.8m times world-wide... At least there is a bit more skill and involvement required to hook up a computer and reprogram the hybrids' braking software.

Still, if it's any consolation, Toyota was not alone in announcing recalls this week - it seems VW Brazil has been a little sparing with the wheel bearing grease when building a few cars down there.

Meanwhile, the new Opel/Vauxhall supremo set out his stall - good luck sorting out the bolshie Belgian labour, Nick - and Our Man in Brazil brought us more news of VW's Hilux fighter and an update for a popular little Ford they once planned to export widely but in the end didn't.

More new models popped up ahead of next month's Geneva show. Renault redesigned its popular Megane drop-top and VW added a hybrid to its restyled Touareg SUV. Renault's results were less attractive than its two new cabriolets but at least cost cuts are having some effect.

Meanwhile, Nissan revealed its new crossover in Paris, with first-glance styling achieving the sort of shock generated by the now deceased and unloved Pontiac Aztek. Our Man was there to dissect the finer points arising from the presentation, wider alliance strategy and those aforementioned financials.

Spyker remained in the news by announcing the move of sportscar assembly to the UK and, just today, more on its proposed takeover of Saab.

We also took the chance to run an eye over the latest Chevrolet Spark (nee Matiz here) and chat with Chevy's UK chief about his plans.

Here's to a week coming soon where we don't have to use the word 'recall' once.

In the meantime, have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts
Deputy/News Editor