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Recall blow for Lexus -- 24 hours after boost from Brian and Amy

JUST 24 hours after Brian O'Driscoll and his bride Amy Huberman were seen heading off to 'Happy Ever After' in their Lexus RS Hybrid, the luxury car maker has been dealt a blow.

Japanese drivers will have to hand back 92,000 luxury cars built by Toyota after a recall which was first announced in Ireland last Thursday.

And 270,000 cars around the world may have to be returned for fixing.

For Toyota the latest recall comes 10 months and a staggering 8.5 million recalls after acceleration problems first appeared in its flagship Prius car last October -- the biggest recall in history.

Last week Lexus Ireland announced it would recall 480 vehicles in the LS and GS range, due to improperly functioning valve springs.


The Irish recall was prompted by abnormal engine noise or unstable idling occurring in cars, which would then spark the illumination of an engine warning light.

The models affected are the current generation LS 460, LS 600h and GS 450h.

Those affected by the latest recall to afflict Toyota will have to hand their cars back for two days at least while Lexus sort out the problem.

This setback to the Japanese company comes as Toyota continues to battle negative PR from almost 10 months of problems around the world.

A Lexus press release makes no reference to replacement cars for drivers put out by the recall. There is no information on the press release about how such a problem occurred or got through the tests and checks, nor does the company apologise for the problem.

"In very rare circumstances, the engine may stall," the press release explained. "Lexus Ireland is currently identifying the specific customers affected and will be writing to them to arrange a suitable date to complete the procedure."

In Japan, Toyota announced another worldwide recall, this time affecting its luxury Lexus and Crown cars. The 92,000 vehicles that have been recalled in Japan needed checks for defective engines.

Toyota said there were flaws in the valve springs, a crucial engine component, that could make cars stall.

The problem comes as Toyota struggles to move on from massive global recalls that started in October.

It has already recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles for various problems, including sticking accelerator pedals, braking software glitches and defective floor mats.

The company announced the latest problems last week, affecting about 270,000 vehicles around the world. Some 180,000 of the defective cars were sold overseas, 138,000 of them in the US.

Toyota said it was replacing the valve spring in the recalled vehicles, produced between July 2005 and August 2008 - Lexus models GS350, GS450h, GS460, IS350, LS460, LS600h, LS600hL and Crown models.