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Clear skies cloud over for Toyota

Toyota Motor Corp, the family-controlled automaker, announced further recalls on Friday in its already troubled US market just two months after Toyota's president said he could see "clear skies in the distance".

Lexus, a division of Toyota USA, announced approximately 138,000 vehicles would be recalled in the US due "to slight variations during the manufacturing process". According to the company, the likelihood of customers experiencing problems is small and it has so far had no reports of accidents related to the fault.

The recalls are not confined to the US, with 90,000 scheduled for Japan and South Korea, 15,000 in Europe, 10,000 in the Middle East, 6,000 in China and 4,000 in Canada.

This news come just two months after third-generation family head Akio Toyoda (pictured) said he could see "clear skies in the distance" for Toyota as it returned to profit for the first quarter of 2010. (Continue reading here)

These recalls are the latest in a series that has seen Toyota recall more than eight million vehicles since November, drop $35 billion in market value and face up to 30 class action lawsuits.

In April, problems were compounded for the Japan-based company when it agreed to pay a $16.4 million fine imposed by the US Department of Transport for responding too slowly to the recalls crisis. (Continue reading here)

Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota's founder and the first family head in 14 years, took over in June 2009. (Continue reading here)

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