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89 deaths 'linked to faulty Toyotas'

SUDDEN acceleration in Toyotas may have been a factor in the deaths of 89 people over the past decade, upping the number of deaths possibly linked to the massive recalls, the US government has revealed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that from 2000 to mid-May, it had received more than 6,200 complaints involving sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

The reports include 89 deaths and 57 injuries over the same period. Previously, 52 deaths had been suspected of being connected to the problem.

Toyota has recalled more than eight million vehicles worldwide because of problems with accelerator pedals, floor mats and brakes.

The Japanese car giant paid a record £13.3m fine for its slow response to an accelerator pedal recall and is facing hundreds of state and government lawsuits.

The company said: "We are making an all-out effort to ensure our vehicles are safe."

Toyota last week said that dealers had fixed nearly 3.5 million vehicles under the recall.