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Daihatsu Recalls Record 891,525 Cars in Japan for Engine Glitch

Daihatsu Motor Co. (7262), Japan’s biggest minicar maker, recalled a record number of vehicles totaling more than it sold in Japan last year because of an engine fault that may hinder starting.

The carmaker, about 51 percent owned by Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), will call back 891,525 minicars in Japan, according to a statement from Daihatsu. No accidents or injuries have been reported, according to the statement on the transport ministry’s website. Minicars are those with engine displacement of no more than 0.6 liters.

The recall comes amid rising competition from carmakers in Japan including Honda Motor Co. (7267), which is focusing on minicar sales as stagnating wage growth prompts consumers to cut spending. Daihatsu sold 1.06 million vehicles last year, including about 677,000 in Japan.

The Osaka-based carmaker rose 3.2 percent to 2,012 yen at the close in Tokyo trading. The shares have increased 60 percent over the past 12 months, compared with the 64 percent gain for the benchmark Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average.

Today’s recall covers 11 types of cars made between 2005 and 2010, Daihatsu spokesman Fumihiko Kondou said. Among the cars recalled, 36 units were exported, he said. Kondou declined to comment on expected costs related to the recall.

-- Editors: Dave McCombs, Subramaniam Sharma

To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Mukai in Tokyo at amukai1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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