Another Blow to Toyota’s Reputation – (TM)

Toyota Motor Corp (TM) on Wednesday issued a massive recall covering nearly 6.4 million vehicles globally for a variety of problems spanning 27 models, Reuters reports.

The recalls involved defective issues with engine starters, steering column brackets and windshield-wiper motors, among other defects.

Toyota said it wasn’t aware of crashes, injuries or fatalities associated with the mechanical issues which were found in 27 Toyota models including the RAV4 SUV and Yaris subcompact, though two vehicles in Japan caught fire due to a defective engine starter that can keep the motor running. The world’s largest auto maker said glitches were also found in the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia, two models the automaker built for GM (GM) and Fuji Heavy Industries.

This is Toyota’s second largest recall ever, the Reuters news agency notes. The company, whose reputation as a builder of reliable, trouble-free vehicles has been tarnished by a series of quality problems, issued a global recall of 7.43 million in October 2012.

The latest recall will probably put a serious dent in the Japanese automaker’s balance sheet. But the hit to its image and iconic reputation for quality control could prove even more damaging.

By market close Tuesday, Toyota shares had slipped 2.06% to $109.10. The stock is down 47 cents, or 0.43%, at $108.63 in pre-market trading Wednesday.

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