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:D yet another Toyota problem. Toyota- Oh what a feeling:

TOYOTA has again been hit by an embarrassing fault in a new model.

All Australian dealers are being ordered to stop selling the new V6-powered RAV4 compact four-wheel-drive.

The latest problem has emerged only days after one of the Japanese group's directors admitted that the company's response to vehicle quality problems "was not perfect". Toyota issued the freeze order on the RAV4 V6 following concerns about the car's drivability.

Details of the exact fault were not available last night, but a Toyota spokesman said it was not a safety issue.

It is the latest in a string of quality-related problems to hit Toyota this year, in Australia and overseas, and reflects the problems that come with growing rapidly year after year. Toyota directors were so concerned that two years ago they formed the Customer First committee, executive vice-president Mitsuo Kinoshita told The Age last week in Tokyo.

"Two years ago, vehicle problems increased so much at that time we decided to establish the CF committee," he said.

"We have been doing that for two years and, as a result, the quality is getting better and the recall level is comparatively decreasing." Apart from the pressures of having to rapidly increase production, Mr Kinoshita said a major source of problems was the increasing use of electronics and, in particular, integrated circuit boards, in cars.

Toyota has had to build at least two factories a year to keep pace with its growth, Mr Kinoshita said.

It had even created its own "university", the Toyota Institute, where managers from around the world were taught "the Toyota way" of building cars.

The RAV4 freeze on sales comes only a month after Toyota Australia was forced to halt sales of its locally developed, supercharged V6 Aurion TRD sedan after the engine in one of the early models failed.

That was traced to over-enthusiastic driving by a dealer.

Earlier in the year, Toyota was forced to halt sales of the new Corolla range after it was found an incorrectly fitted stay allowed the steering column to slump to its lowest position.

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