Toyota recalling 690,000 pickups

Toyota is recalling 690,000 older-model pickup trucks because their rear-suspension systems could break and cause a fire.

Toyota Motor Sales USA said Monday that it has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the recall affects 2005-2011 Tacoma 4x4 and Tacoma Pre-Runner pickup trucks.

"Leaf" springs in the vehicles' rear-suspension assembly "could fracture due to stress and corrosion," the automaker said. That could move a spring out of position and cause it to hit surrounding parts, including the fuel tank, potentially causing a fuel leak.

"In the presence of an ignition source, this could result in a fire," Toyota said.

The company said it isn't aware of any fires, crashes, injuries or fatalities associated with with the problem.

Owners of affected pickups will be notified by mail. Toyota dealers will replace the parts free of charge, the company said. Customers can get more information at www.toyota.com/recall or by calling Toyota at (800) 331-4331.

Toyota earlier this year also recalled 6.39 million vehicles around the world for a range of problems, including a defective engine starter.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also investigating consumer claims that older Toyota Corollas can suddenly accelerate. The probe cover covers about 1.69 million 2006-2010 Corollas.

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