Toyota Recalls 135,000 Cars

TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota recalled 135,000 compact cars in Japan and Europe Thursday for a software problem that could cause power steering to stop working.

There were no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem affecting the iQ model sold in Japan and Europe, and the Passo sold only in Japan, according to Toyota Motor Corp.

Driving over a bump may cause programming to malfunction, making the power steering uncontrollably heavy, the world's top automaker said.

The problem vehicles were produced in Japan from September 2008 through to last month, it said. The models were not sold in North America. Some 12,000 of the recalled cars are in Britain, Toyota's British unit said.

Over the past year, the world's biggest automaker has recalled more than 10 million cars and trucks worldwide for a variety of problems, including sticky gas pedals, dealing a major blow to its reputation for quality.

Just last month, Toyota recalled 1.53 million Lexus, Avalon and other models, mostly in the U.S. and Japan, for brake fluid and fuel pump problems.

The majority of vehicles need to be fixed for a problem with the brake master cylinder, which could lead to weaker braking power, while some models in Japan had an electrical problem with the fuel pump, which could lead the engine to stall.