Toyota says expansion not to blame for recall

NAGOYA: Toyota Motor scrambled to reassure customers it has not sacrificed its legendary safety to be world number 1 as its recalls spread to the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

It has actively expanded overseas over the

past decade to meet demand for its cars, prompting critics to question whether its quality control has weakened in the process.

“I do not think the expansion of production overseas has affected quality,” Toyota vice president Shinichi Sasaki told a news conference.

“We have full trust in engineering and quality,” added Sasaki, the first Toyota executive to talk publicly in Japan about the recalls.

Toyota will recall about 180,000 vehicles in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America that were imported from the United States with sticking accelerator pedals.

On Monday, the company said it had started shipping parts to US dealers to repair the millions of vehicles recalled due to the problem pedal. A “spacer” will be added to increase the tension in a spring and reduce the risk of the pedal staying down.

The Japanese giant said it would resume

production of the eight affected models on

February 8 at factories

in North America and

resume sales after

dealers have fixed the vehicles on their lots.