Japanese gov't asks Toyota to investigate complaints against cars

16:01, February 04, 2010      

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The government of Japan asked Toyota on Thursday to thoroughly investigate complaints into its cars that had been made in Japan.

Mizuho Fukushima, the minister in charge of consumer affairs said, "We want to coordinate with the ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism to come up with ways to deal with the matter."

Fukushima had met Toyota's managing officer Mitsuru Takada earlier in the day, and urged him to investigate what had gone wrong in the cars and come up with measures to prevent panic in Toyota users.

On Wednesday the transport ministry announced that it had received 14 complaints about Toyota brake faults since last year.

The automaker has taken a battering in 2010, with recalls that started in the United States spreading worldwide. So far, more than 2 million vehicles have had to be sent back to plants for repairs, doing serious damage to the automaker's reputation.

Through the economic downturn, Toyota managed to gain market share in the United States and gain fans across the globe for its hybrid cars, which appeal to more environmentally conscious consumers at a time when fears about global warming are on the rise. The momentum the company gained, however, may be lost.

Results released Wednesday showed sales of Toyotas were down 15. 8 percent in the United States in January.

Making matters worse, U.S. Transport Secretary Ray LaHood urged drivers of the models that have been recalled to stop driving them immediately, sending shares in the company down by 7 percent, according media reports.

Source: Xinhua
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