Fire hazard triggers recall of Toyota's C-HR hybrids

Toyota Motor Thailand plans to recall C-HR hybrids delivered between March and May, as part of a million-vehicle recall around the world.

Toyota Motor Thailand plans to recall C-HR hybrids delivered between March and May, as the model is included in a global recall.

The Japanese auto giant will soon send letters to Thai buyers to bring in their hybrid cars for a checkup.

Toyota had sold 9,199 C-HR units as of July, 5,619 of which are expected to be recalled.

Some 80% of the C-HRs in Thailand are the hybrid version, according to Toyota.

Toyota started making the C-HR at the Gateway Plant in Chachoengsao province in March. The line won tax incentives from the government under the electric vehicle scheme.

Toyota on Wednesday announced a recall of 1.03 million hybrid cars globally, citing a technical problem that could cause a fire in the worst case.

Vehicles built between June 2015 and May 2018 are being recalled for safety checks, Toyota said. The affected models are the Prius, Prius PHV (plug-in hybrid) and C-HR.

Of the 1.03 million cars, 554,000 were sold in Japan, 217,000 in North America and 219,000 in Europe. The remaining 50,000 cars were sold in other regions.

But Toyota said Priuses sold in Thailand would not be affected by the recall.

Toyota started to sell the Prius locally in 2010 and it accumulated sales of 18,479 units as of August 2015, when the carmaker suspended the Prius production line at the same plant.

For the Prius, Thai authorities alleged that Toyota understated taxes by claiming that the hybrid car was a completely knocked-down vehicle, despite the fact that the company imports most of the main finished parts from Japan for local assembly.

Globally, Toyota's cumulative sales exceeded 11.47 million hybrid vehicles as of 2017, with the first hybrid vehicle being launched commercially in 1997.

Also on Wednesday, Toyota in Thailand announced a recall of 484,914 cars sold locally, for a defect related to faulty Takata airbag inflators. Toyota aims to check and replace the bag inflators.

Of those, 107,243 cars have already been replaced with new ones, Toyota said.

The recall announced on Wednesday was for four models: Alphard (2009-14), Camry (2001-06), Vios (2007-13) and Yaris (2006-13). Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus, recalled two models, the RX (2015-16) and the IS (2006-12).


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