MUNICH – Toyota Motor Europe has not decided to postpone any already-announced product launches in Europe, a company spokesman said in an e-mail reply to questions from Automotive News Europe. He added that there is no plan to delay the start of production of any announced Toyota or Lexus vehicle. (See which cars will be launched and when, below)
Toyota Europe's comments follow a story that appeared in the Sunday Telegraph in which the UK-based newspaper said the world's largest automaker could freeze new-car launches this year if it is not satisfied the problems that forced a mass recall of its vehicles have been solved.
The newspaper said the European launches of the new RAV4 SUV as well as the Auris and Auris Hybrid compacts slated for later this year could be halted, citing comments from the Japanese automaker's European boss.
"We are discussing that, if necessary, we will postpone the launch timing. For us there is the hybrid in late May, which is really key. We want to make sure that this car is properly launched without any major issues," Toyota Europe President and CEO Tadashi Arashima was quoted as saying in the newspaper.
The Toyota Europe spokesman said that the company is confident that any potentially of the issues covered in the two separate European recalls will be repaired.
Toyota Europe announced last month that it would recall up to 1.8 million cars in Europe, including its top-selling Auris, Avensis, Aygo and Yaris model lines.
On Monday, the company provided a more exact breakdown of the number of cars recalled and for what reasons:
• 4,437,000 vehicles globally – including 1,687,000 in Europe – to check for a potentially sticky accelerator pedal
• 437,000 hybrids globally – including 53,000 Prius models in Europe – to check the ABS control software
• 5,750,000 vehicles in North American to check for the potential entrapment of the accelerator pedal under the floor mat.
It said that 2.1 million of the cars are being checked for both the floor mat issue and the sticking accelerator so by subtracting that number from the three above the result is a recall of 8,524,000 cars globally.