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Fresh recall humiliation for car giant Toyota

Toyota announced today it will recall 270,000 vehicles worldwide to fix faulty engines in the latest setback for the world's top car manufacturer.

The recalled vehicles include seven luxury Lexus sedan models as well as the popular Crown, Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said. Of the 270,000 recalled cars, 180,000 were sold overseas and 90,000 in Japan.



Pedals

The latest quality lapse comes as the world's largest car manufacturer scrambles to repair its reputation following the recall of 8.5 million vehicles because of problems with sticking accelerator pedals.

Toyota was slapped with a record $16.4m (€13.1m) fine in the United States for acting too slowly to recall vehicles with defects.

Toyota said there were no linked reports of accidents.

The company will inform Japan's transport ministry of a recall of 90,000 vehicles on Monday. Mr Nolasco said it was unclear how many vehicles would be recalled overseas. Lexus said in a statement that about 137,000 vehicles could be affected by the engine problem in the US. Lexus general manager Mark Templin said that during manufacturing there were contaminated materials used for valve springs, which could cause abnormal noises, rough idling, or the engine to stall. Toyota dealers have repaired millions of vehicles, but the car manufacturer still faces more than 200 lawsuits tied to accidents, the lower resale value of Toyota vehicles, and the drop in the company's stock.

Toyota said last week it will recall 17,000 Lexus luxury hybrids after testing showed that fuel can spill during a rear-end crash.



Investigate

US regulators were working with Nasa scientists to investigate what caused some of Toyota's vehicles to suddenly accelerate.

Officials were also investigating whether Toyota waited nearly a year in 2005 to recall trucks and SUVs in the US with defective steering rods.

hnews@herald.ie


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