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RECALL ROUNDUP: Toyota, GM recall millions of cars

RECALL ROUNDUP: Toyota, GM recall millions of cars

RECALLS: Toyota and General Motors both issued recalls on vehicles this week. Photo: Associated Press

A look at this week’s top recalls and product safety information.

Toyota recalls 1.9 million Prius cars for software

Toyota is recalling 1.9 million hybrid Prius cars globally for a software glitch that could cause the vehicle to stall.

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that 997,000 Prius cars in Japan, some 713,000 in North America, another 130,000 in Europe and the rest in other regions are being recalled for a problem in the software to control the hybrid system.

The software could cause transistors to become damaged, causing warnings lights to go off, driving power to be reduced or the car to stop. The recalled vehicles were manufactured between March 2009 and February 2014.

The Japanese automaker suffered massive recalls starting in 2009, affecting more than 14 million vehicles for problems including floor mats, gas pedals and brakes.

Toyota recalls 216K Lexus, Toyota models for brake problems

Toyota Motor Corp is recalling 261,114 Lexus and Toyota brand vehicles in the United States because various safety systems, including stability control and anti-lock brakes, could become inoperative.

It is recalling vehicles from model years 2012 and 2013 because an electrical component in the brake actuator, which adjusts fluid pressure in each wheel cylinder, may experience increased resistance, according to documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The vehicles affected in the recall include 54,010 of the Lexus RX350 crossover vehicles and 100,052 of the Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks, both from model years 2012 and 2013, as well as 107,052 of the Toyota RAV4 SUVs from model year 2012, according to the NHTSA documents.

That could lead to reduced vehicle control and an increased risk of a crash as various safety systems, including traction control, become inoperative. Toyota and Lexus dealers will update the software for the skid control electronic unit for free.

GM recalling nearly 780,000 compact cars

General Motors is recalling nearly 780,000 compact cars in North America because the engines can shut down unexpectedly and cause crashes. The company says six people have been killed in crashes related to the problem.

The recall affects Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s from the 2005 through 2007 model years.

U.S. safety regulators say the weight of the key ring and rough roads can move the ignition switch out of the run position, cutting the engine and electricity. If that happens, air bags may not work.

GM says there have been 22 crashes from the problem. All were off the road and happened at high speeds. Dealers will replace the ignition switch for free. GM says owners should remove nonessential items from key rings until the problem is fixed.

More than 3M Graco child safety seats recalled

A company that makes car safety seats is recalling nearly 3.8 million of them because children can get trapped by buckles that may not unlatch. But the action by Graco doesn’t satisfy federal regulators, who say the recall should include another 1.8 million rear-facing car seats designed for infants.

The recall covers 11 models made from 2009 through 2013 by Graco Children’s Products of Atlanta.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s the fourth-largest child seat recall in U.S. history.

But the agency has criticized Graco, saying that the recall excludes seven infant car seat models with the same buckles. It says the company and the government have received complaints about stuck buckles on those seats — and that parents have sometimes had to cut harness straps to remove their child.

Graco says its tests found that food or beverages can make the harness buckles sticky and harder to use. A spokeswoman says the rear-facing infant seats aren’t being recalled because infants don’t get food or drinks on their seats. She says the company will send replacement buckles to owners of infant seats on request.

California plant shuts down after beef recall

A California slaughterhouse has voluntary halted operations after recalling more than 8.7 million pounds of beef products.

The recall began Jan. 13 and was expanded Saturday to include just over a year’s worth of meat products processed by Rancho Feeding Corp. in Petaluma.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the facility processed diseased and unhealthy animals without a full federal inspection.

The recalled products were processed from Jan. 1, 2013, through Jan. 7, 2014, and shipped to distribution centers and retail stores in California, Florida, Illinois and Texas. They include beef carcasses, oxtail, liver, cheeks, tripe, tongue and veal bones.

For more information on recalls and consumer product safety information, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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