Toyota to Recall 270,000 Cars for Faulty Engines
FILE - This March 4, 2009 file photo, provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, shows a cougar in a tree west of Spooner, Wis. Cougars are repopulating the Midwest a century since the generally reclusive mountain lions were hunted to near extinction in much of the region, according to a new study detailed in The Journal of Wildlife Management. (AP Photo/ Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, File)
Toyota Motor Corp. announced Friday it will recall 270,000 vehicles worldwide to fix faulty engines in the latest setback for the world's No. 1 automaker.
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, some 180,000 were sold overseas and 90,000 in Japan.
The latest quality lapse comes as the world's largest automaker scrambles to repair its reputation following the recall of 8.5 million vehicles around the globe because of problems with sticking accelerator pedals.
Toyota was slapped with a record $16.4 million fine in the United States for acting too slowly to recall vehicles with defects.
Toyota said it received about 200 complaints in Japan over faulty engines. Some drivers told Toyota that engines made a strange noise.
Toyota has said there were no reports of accidents linked to the faulty engines.
The company will inform Japan's transport ministry of a recall of 90,000 vehicles on Monday. Nolasco said it was unclear how many vehicles would be recalled in the United States.
Lexus said in a statement Thursday about 137,000 vehicles could be affected by the engine problem in the U.S.
Lexus General Manager Mark Templin said during manufacturing there were some contaminated materials used for valve springs in the engine, which could cause abnormal noises, rough idling, or the engine to stall.
Toyota dealers have repaired millions of vehicles, but the automaker 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.
U.S. regulators were working with scientists from NASA to investigate what caused some of Toyota's vehicles to suddenly accelerate. That review is expected to be completed by late August.
Officials were also investigating whether Toyota waited nearly a year in 2005 to recall trucks and SUVs in the U.S. with defective steering rods, a case that could lead to additional fines.
In the aftermath of the recalls, Congress is considering an upgrade to auto safety laws to toughen potential penalties against automakers, give the U.S. government more powers to demand a recall and push car companies to meet new safety standards.
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