Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it is recalling over 100 of its Japanese cars and SUVs, as it continues to investigate what caused a fire at the company’s factory in northern Russia that killed at least 40 people.
The company said it has sent letters to owners who owned the cars, and that a recall was expected to be issued soon.
The automaker said it had already issued about 100,064 vehicles to owners and issued a notice to those who bought the vehicles.
The recall covers about 10,000 of the vehicles and is expected to affect more than 5,000 people, it said.
Toyota said it is “committed to conducting a thorough investigation and cooperating fully with authorities.”
The fire that began Sunday at the plant in the village of Risto, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of Moscow, destroyed the plant’s main production facility and caused the fire to spread to nearby buildings.
The blaze was contained within hours and was under control by Tuesday morning.
In addition to the cars that were recalled, Toyota said, “approximately 100,971 vehicles have already been recalled to replace a product line of Toyota cars that was affected by the fire.”
Toyota is working to recall other vehicles from the plant and is asking owners to bring in their cars to be inspected for the possible ignition problems.
In a statement, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said the company was “deeply saddened” by the accident, which occurred during the annual winter parade of the local municipality of Rostov-on-Don, which celebrates the town’s connection to Russia.
The fire is being investigated as a possible accident and there were no casualties, the statement said.
The plant, which employs about 11,000 workers, is one of the biggest in the world.
The accident comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, which has raised concerns about the ability of the two countries to meet their commitments under a 2015 accord that ended the war in eastern Ukraine.
The fires at the two factories that have been the scene of many of the most deadly accidents in Russia over recent years, including at the Tatar factory in Moscow that killed hundreds and a fire in the city of Novokuznetsk that killed dozens.
In May, an explosion at the Siberian plant killed at the worst plant explosion since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
While many of Toyota’s Russian operations remain largely shut, the company has invested billions of dollars in recent years to expand its workforce, including buying a plant in Russia that manufactures the Chevrolet Cruze SUV and the Toyota Camry.