Cable-snap fears spark new recalls by troubled Toyota
Embattled car maker Toyota is recalling 600,000 Sienna minivans sold in the US over fears of rusty spare tyre cables snapping.
The latest safety problem to strike the manufacturer came as the US government planned another hearing to review potential electronic problems in runaway Toyotas. The Japanese car giant has recalled more than eight million vehicles because of faulty accelerator pedals, humbling a car company long known for its quality and safety.
Toyota said it would respond quickly to the latest safety worries.
Meanwhile Toyota said its engineers had duplicated the same results of tests that led 'Consumer Reports' magazine to issue a rare "don't buy" warning on the 2010 Lexus GX 460 because of an apparent rollover problem.
Toyota responded by halting sales of new GX 460s and conducting tests on all of its SUVs.
Lexus spokesman Bill Kwong said the company was looking at potential remedies for the GX 460, but it was "too early to speculate (on) the details".
Toyota said its latest recall covered the 1998-2010 model year Siennas with two-wheel-drive that had been sold or registered in 20 cold-climate states and the District of Columbia. It said rust from road salt could cause the cable that holds the spare tyre to break, allowing the tyre to tumble into the road. The problem could threaten the safety of other drivers.
Toyota said it was unaware of any accidents or injuries. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had received six complaints of spare tyres falling off Siennas.
The company said it was working on a fix for the problem. In the meantime, customers would be told to bring their vehicle to a dealership for an inspection.