Toyota mulls Corolla recall over steering issue

(AP) - Could the Corolla be next?

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it's looking into complaintsof power steering problems with its popular compact car and isconsidering a recall as one option. That would be another blow tothe world's largest automaker grappling with a spate of safetylapses ranging from sticking gas pedals to braking problems.

President Akio Toyoda also said he's not going to Washington toappear at congressional hearings next week, preferring to leavethat to his U.S.-based executives while he focuses on beefing upquality controls - though he would consider attending if invited.

"We are sending the best people to the hearing, and I hope toback up the efforts from headquarters," Toyoda told journalists athis third news conference in two weeks.

Eager to show that his company is taking consumer concernsseriously, Toyoda promised a backup safety system in all futuremodels worldwide that will override the accelerator if the gas andbrake pedals are pressed at the same time. Acceleration problemsare behind the bulk of the 8.5 million vehicles recalled by theautomaker since November.

But Toyota's woes could spread.

The executive in charge of quality control, Shinichi Sasaki,said the company is examining fewer than 100 complaints about powersteering in the Corolla, one of its best-selling models.

To watch an interview with the general manager of Smithtown Toyota, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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