Toyota Motor said on Thursday that it would recall 1.13 million compact cars in North America, days after federal safety regulators upgraded an investigation into numerous complaints about the cars stalling.
The recall, which covers the 2005 through 2008 Corolla sedan and Matrix hatchback, is the 15th this year for Toyota, which has found itself battling widespread questions about the quality and reliability of its vehicles. Toyota has recalled about 11 million vehicles worldwide since November, including about eight million in connection with complaints about sudden acceleration. The latest recall is not related to the problems with Toyota’s accelerator pedals and floor mats, but rather to reports of the vehicles’ engines stalling or failing to start. Toyota said it was aware of three crashes that drivers claimed were caused by a stalled engine, one of which resulted in a minor injury.
In December, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into complaints about stalling on the 2006 Corolla and Matrix. The agency began a new inquiry, known as an engineering analysis, last week and broadened its range to include the 2005 through 2007 model years.
On Thursday, Toyota attributed the problem to improper manufacturing of the vehicles’ engine control modules, which allowed cracks to develop at certain solder points or in a protective coating on the circuit board. Dealers will replace the control modules, which were made by the Delphi Corporation, a process expected to take about 40 minutes for each vehicle, Toyota said.