Tue, Feb 18, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Toyota, Honda suspend output over snow snarls

Bloomberg and AP, TOKYO

Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co and Suzuki Motor Corp suspended output in some factories in Japan after the second major snowstorm this month disrupted shipments of parts from suppliers.

Toyota halted production yesterday in its Takaoka plant, which builds Corolla and IQ cars, and the Tsutsumi factory, which makes vehicles including the Prius and Camry, spokeswoman Kayo Doi said. The Toyota City, Japan-based automaker will resume output when parts arrive, she said.

Honda yesterday suspended production at its Yorii factory in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo because of snow, after halting output at affected sites on Friday and Saturday, according to company spokeswoman Kumiko Hashimoto.

Suzuki stopped output at three factories in Shizuoka, company spokesman Hideki Taguchi said.

Heavy snowstorms have disrupted plane and train services in Japan this month.

At least 20cm of snow fell in Tokyo on Friday and Saturday, with accumulations 10 times higher in some other parts of the nation, the Japan Meteorological Agency reported on its Web site.

As much as 24cm of snow covered Tokyo the previous weekend, the most in 45 years, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The weather agency forecasts a 50 percent chance of snow or rain in Aichi Prefecture tomorrow and Thursday, and a 50 percent chance of precipitation in Shizuoka on Thursday, according to its Web site.

Separately, Toyota is recalling 13,000 FJ Cruiser sport-utility vehicles, mostly in the Middle East, for fuel tubes that may overheat, melt and set off a gas leak.

The automaker says five fires were reported related to the defect. There have been no reports of injuries or deaths.

The recall announced yesterday covers FJ Cruisers manufactured between October 2012 and last month.

About 10,180 vehicles are in the Middle East and 2,500 in Australia; the rest were in Africa and Panama.

Yesterday’s recall follows a bigger one last week covering 1.9 million Prius cars globally for a software problem and 294,000 vehicles — the RAV4 sport utility, Tacoma pickup and Lexus RX 350 luxury model — in North and South America for a different software glitch.

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