Toyota mulls recall on Lexus engine problems

By Dow Jones Newswires
Posted July 1, 2010 at 12:36 p.m.

Toyota Motor Corp by Thursday morning had not yet alerted U.S. safety regulators of a recall of one Toyota and seven Lexus models for possible engine stalling while driving, a federal safety official said.

Toyota officials in Tokyo earlier on Thursday said the world’s top automaker was considering “some kind of measure” that may include the recall of 270,000 vehicles worldwide.

The sedans may also have excessive engine noise, Toyota said.

Of the 270,000 vehicles, about 137,000 are in the United States. Canadian autos are also involved, but no figure was given for Canada.

No accidents or injuries have been reported, Toyota said, related to the stalling issue. Toyota said that in rare cases, the stall may occur while the sedans are being driven.

Since last September, Toyota has been plagued by a safety crisis that has led to the recall of more than 10 million vehicles globally, mostly for potential unintended acceleration. About 7.3 million vehicles have been recalled in the United States, the automaker’s biggest market.

Toyota said that decisions by government regulators would determine if a recall was necessary for the eight models, including the high-end Lexus LS 460 and Toyota Crown sedans.

Other Lexus models are the GS 350, the GS 450h, the GS 460, the IS 350, the LS 600h and the LS 600hl. The LS 600h is not sold in the United States. The models marked by “h” are gasoline-electric hybrids.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had not received any communication from Toyota regarding the issue as of early Thursday, according to a Department of Transportation spokeswoman. The DOT is the parent agency of the NHTSA.

Models involved have 4.6-liter and 3.6-liter engines, a Toyota spokeswoman in Tokyo said.

Some of these vehicles could have a problem with the valve spring in their engines that may cause idling trouble that could lead to engine failure, although no accidents have been reported, she said.


Last Friday, Toyota told U.S. and Canadian safety regulators it was halting sales and recalling about 17,000 Lexus HS 250h gasoline-electric hybrid sedans due to a potential fuel leak.

Toyota acted following a U.S. government crash test that showed fuel leaking after an HS 250h was struck from the rear by a car traveling about 50 miles per hour (80 kph).

Some 13,000 model-year 2010 HS 250h vehicles were sold in the United States, and about 17,000 have been built to sell in the U.S. market, Toyota told its U.S. Lexus dealers in a letter last Friday.

Toyota’s own crash test did not show the fuel leak problem. The automaker, in the letter to U.S. Lexus dealers, said it was trying to understand why the government tests showed the fuel leakage problem while the company’s own crash tests did not.

The automaker told dealers it has not received any reports of injuries or accidents linked to the potential problem with the HS 250h sedan.

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One comment:

  1. Kent July 2, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I have an ‘09 460LS. This is worrisome. Has anyone heard anything from their Lexus dealer or Toyota coporate?