Suzukis recalled, and Toyota family member Eiji Toyoda dies

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Suzukis recalled

DETROIT — Suzuki is recalling 193,936 cars and SUVs because of a defective air bag sensor in the front passenger seat.

Grand Vitara SUVs for the 2006-11 model years and SX4 small cars for the 2007-11 model years are involved.

Sensor mats measure passengers’ weight and determine whether the air bag should deploy. Determining who sits in the seat is important because the force of an air bag can injure children or small adults.

Suzuki says the mats can stop working after repeated flexing. If that happens, the bag will deploy even if a small person is in the seat.

The Japanese automaker says there are no reports of accidents or injuries due to the problem.

Suzuki will notify owners starting next month. Dealers will replace the mats free.

Toyota pioneer dies

TOKYO — Eiji Toyoda, a member of Toyota’s founding family who helped create the super-efficient “Toyota Way” production method, has died. He was 100.

Toyoda, a cousin of the Japanese automaker’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, died Tuesday of heart failure at Toyota Memorial Hospital in Toyota City, Toyota said in a statement.

Eiji Toyoda served as president from 1967-82, engineering Toyota’s growth into a global automaker. He became chairman in 1982, and continued in advisory positions up to his death.

He spent his early years on the shop floor, and helped pioneer Toyota’s reputed just-in-time production to cut waste and empower workers for continuous improvement, or kaizen.

Toyoda led the development of the Toyota Corolla, which has become one of the best-selling cars of all time. He also pushed Toyota to develop luxury vehicles, which later became the Lexus brand.


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