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Toyota recalls 520,000 vehicles worldwide

TOKYO--Toyota on Friday said it is recalling about 520,000 vehicles, mostly in North America, over several issues including cable corrosion that could see unused spare tires fall off.

The world's biggest automaker made the announcement just days after U.S. rival General Motors said it was recalling 2.4 million more vehicles in the United States.

Both car giants have been struggling with product recall issues in recent years with Toyota last month calling back 6.39 million vehicles over a string of problems, dealing another blow to its long-held reputation for quality and safety.

On Friday, Toyota said its announcement covered about 450,000 Sienna minivans produced between 2004 and 2011, including 370,000 in the U.S. and 80,000 in Canada.

The move was tied to concerns that salt used on snowy roads in both countries during the winter could corrode a cable that secures the vehicle's spare tyre.

“In an extreme case, the cable may break due to excessive corrosion and the spare tire may separate from the vehicle,” Toyota said.

Also recalled over a glitch in software that controls the front passenger seatbelt were 55,000 Highlander sports utility vehicles, sold mostly in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, which were manufactured between November 2013 and May 2014.

Another 16,000 Lexus GS 250 and GS 350 luxury sedans made in 2012 would be recalled, mostly in North America, Europe and China, over a brake pedal issue that could cause the vehicle to slow down more than expected.

Toyota recalled nearly 9 million vehicles globally in late 2009 and early 2010 due to an accelerator pedal issue.

Despite record sales and bumper profits, the company has been fighting to protect its brand in the wake of the crisis and earlier this year reached a deal to pay US$1.2 billion to settle U.S. criminal charges that it covered up a sticky pedal blamed for dozens of deaths.

U.S. rival General Motors has also been sideswiped by accusations that it hid a decadelong ignition and airbag problem linked to 13 deaths.

This week, GM announced four separate recall actions for various models dating as early as 2005 and as recent as the 2015 model year, but said there had been no fatalities associated with them.

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The Toyota Sienna is displayed during the Los Angeles Auto Show on Dec. 2, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (AFP

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