Toyota is to recall 688,314 Camry and other sedans made at its two China joint ventures from Tuesday, its largest recall in the country, to fix faulty electric window switches.
Analysts told Reuters the recall would not have any long term impact on the Japanese automaker’s growth prospects in China as the defect was minor and involved only one supplier.
The recall, which comes at time when Toyota has lost some of its steam after years of breakneck growth, may however swing some buyers to its European and US rivals for now, they said.
“The size of the recall is big, but it won’t be a major problem for Toyota given the nature of the defect. Still, there will be some impact for the short term,” CSM Worldwide analyst Huang Zherui said.
Toyota’s recall, announced by China’s quality watchdog late on Sunday, included 384,736 Camry models made by Toyota’s joint venture with Guangzhou Auto in south China between 15 May, 2006 and 31 December, 2008.
22,767 Yaris models made by the same venture between 15 May and 31 December last year would also be recalled, the news agency’s report said.
The list also included 35,523 Vios [Yaris sedan] models made at Toyota’s joint venture with FAW between 18 February and 25 December 2008 and 245,288 Corolla models built by the JV from 17 May, 2007 to 25 December, 2008, it added.
A Toyota China spokesman said he had received no reports of casualties or accidents linked with the defect.
Last April, the Guangzhou Auto JV recalled over 251,000 Camrys to repair defective brakes.
About 214,000 Japan-built Lexus models were recalled in the US last January for attention to fuel pipes possibly corroded by ethanol. Toyota has also recalled other large batches of vehicles produced in the last few years to correct component defects.