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Toyota Motor Corporation will recall 688,314 cars made at its two China joint ventures starting Tuesday to fix a faulty window-control switch, which is the carmaker’s largest recall in China.

Reuters Newsagency quotes analysts as saying the recall will not have any long-term impact on the Japanese company’s growth prospect in China as the defect is minor and only involves a single supplier.

The recall, which comes at time when Toyota has lost some of its steam after years of fast growth, may push some buyers to its European and US rivals for now, the analysts said.

“The size of the recall is big, but it won’t be a major problem for Toyota given the nature of the defect. Still, there will be some impact for the short term,” said Huang Zherui, an analyst with CSM Worldwide, a global industry consultancy.

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In the first half, the Japanese automaker sold 284,000 passenger cars in China, almost unchanged from a year earlier, due largely to its limited offering of small models.

In contrast, General Motors Company reported a 38 per cent rise in its sales in the country, helped by Beijing’s aggressive cut in sales tax for small cars.

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Toyota’s recall, announced by China’s quality watchdog late on Sunday, included 384,736 Camry models made by Toyota’s joint venture in south China with Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group between May 2006 and December 2008.

A total of 22,767 Yaris light cars made by the same venture between May and December of last year also will be recalled, the statement said.

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The list also included 35,523 Vios cars made at its joint venture with FAW between February and December 2008 and 245,288 Corollas made at the venture from May 2007 to December 2008, it said.

A spokesman for Toyota’s China operations said he had received no reports of injuries or accidents linked with the defect.






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