The sales figure announced Wednesday compared with 2015 sales of 9.93 million vehicles for Volkswagen AG and 9.8 million for General Motors.
Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, has forecast sales at 10.114 million vehicles in 2016. Its actual sales in 2015 beat its forecast for sales of 10.098 million vehicles.
Volkswagen AG, which overtook Toyota in sales in the first half of the year, suffered in the second half from an emissions cheating scandal.
Auto sales in major markets such as the U.S. and Japan have slowed, while emerging markets that had sustained growth in recent years have weakened.