Toyota Slows Output to Address Quality Problems

TOKYO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's biggest auto maker, is considering delaying the introduction of some new models by as much as half a year amid a series of recalls and quality problems,
the Wall Street Journal said on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Toyota, which has built its reputation on offering safe and reliable cars at reasonable prices, is plagued with a rise in vehicle recalls and faces a legal probe into its past recall practice.
To improve quality, the auto maker is considering adding as much as three to six months to development lead time, which is usually two to three years, affecting a relatively wide range of projects, the paper said.
The next Sienna minivan, Solara sports coupe and Avalon sedan are among models that could be affected, it said.
Toyota has recalled more than one million vehicles in Japan so far this year and issued a recall of some 400,000 SUVs in the United States, its single-biggest market, in July.
It is being investigated by prosecutors in Kumamoto, southern Japan, over whether its quality-control managers wrongly delayed a recall filing that could have prevented a road accident in 2004 that injured a couple and their three young children.

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