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Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday that global production has been halved since last month’s magnitude 9.0 earthquake but is expected to return to normal around November or December.

Production is expected to start rising in Japan in July and in other countries in August, with the return to predisaster levels projected by November or December, the carmaker said.

The announcement came after Toyota resumed manufacturing Monday at all its domestic plants. Parts availability is improving as efforts to restore the supply chain continue.

But Toyota is expected to trim its global production plan for 2011 because the disaster has delayed the production of around 400,000 units, or about 5 percent of its intended output.

“At a time when production volume is uncertain, I cannot discuss the impact of the disaster on earnings,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in Tokyo.

Toyoda indicated that any delay in recovery could force it to cut some of its 960 temporary employees in Japan.

Despite the resumption of domestic production, Toyota will still have to drastically slash production in North America, China and Thailand because of parts supply disruptions caused by the disaster.

Sensor woes spur recall

New York
KYODO

Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it will recall about 350,000 vehicles sold in North America due to possible problems with roll detection sensors.

The recall covers two models — certain 2007-2008 model year RAV4 sport utility vehicles and certain 2008 Highlander vehicles, including hybrid models, the company said. It said the recall will affect about 250,000 RAV4s and about 100,000 Highlanders.

The company said malfunctions of the sensors may inadvertently activate airbags installed near the side seats, posing an injury risk.

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