Toyota Motor Corp. has announced plans to recall up to 270,000 Lexus models in the U.S. as well as Japan after saying engines may have defective valve components that can lead to stalling. As many as eight 2006, 2007, and 2008 models may be affected, including the Lexus GS 350, GS 450h, GS 460, IS 350, LS 460, LS 600h and LS 600hL, and the Toyota Crown. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it hasn’t yet received official notification of the recall.
Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, is working diligently to restore its reputation for quality after recalling about eight million vehicles globally for defects linked to unintended acceleration.
The company recalled about 13,000 Lexus GX 460 sport-utility vehicles in April after Consumer Reports labeled the model a “safety risk” because it could roll over. The designation was removed in May. Recently, Toyota said it would also recall hybrid Lexus HS250h sedans because of a fuel-leak risk that posed a potential fire hazard after too much gasoline spilled during U.S. government crash tests.
According to Toyota, about 90,000 vehicles in Japan and 138,000 in the U.S. may have engine problems ranging from “abnormal” noise and idling to stalling while the vehicle is moving. “Due to slight variations during the manufacturing process, some foreign material may have contaminated the valve springs, resulting in potential breakage,” Toyota said on its website. “We want to take care of customers better than anybody and take care of this as quickly as possible,” stated Mark Templin, U.S. group vice president and general manager of the Lexus brand.
The company also said it has completed the needed repairs on more than 4 million — or 78 percent — of U.S. vehicles recalled this year for flaws linked to unintended acceleration.