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Toyota recalls 8,000 Tacoma trucks

Kathryn Tancos

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Toyota announced a voluntary safety recall of about 8,000 four-wheel Tacoma trucks in North America, citing potential production defects in the front-drive shaft of certain 2010 models.

The automaker said Friday that the front shaft in a small production run of pickups may include a component that developed cracks during the manufacturing process.

Toyota's troubles
Since 2006, various safety issues have led to probes by U.S. agencies, resulted in the recall of over 10 million vehicles and landed the Japanese carmaker in trouble.

As the vehicles are used, the cracks could potentially lead to the separation of the drive shaft at the joint.

Toyota (TM) has assured car owners that the safety inspection and replacement will be performed at no cost.

On Tuesday, Toyota President Akio Toyoda issued an apology with the announcement of a global recall of more than 400,000 Hybrid models for 2010, including the widely popular Prius, because of braking problems.

"Quality is our lifeline for Toyota," and the company will work to recover its customers' trust, Toyoda said. The company has recalled about 8 million vehicles worldwide

Experts say Toyota has lost control of its message and needs to try to get it back during Washington hearings. The president of the troubled carmaker will testify before U.S. Congressional committees if required, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported.

The House of Representatives has scheduled committee hearings this month and Senate hearings are scheduled to begin on March 2.

U.S. lawmakers support a bid to subpoena Toyoda to appear at the hearings as pressures mounts amid growing criticism.

So far, only Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota Motor North America, has been invited to testify, according to Kyodo.

Toyota has come under intense fire both at home and abroad. The automaker hopes Toyoda's appearance before U.S. lawmakers will help revive trust in its vehicles. To top of page

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