Toyota Recalls Another 1.7 Million Cars

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) – New year, same story: Toyota announced another round of large-scale global recalls on Wednesday that will affect approximately 1.7 million vehicles in need of fuel repairs.

The recall is concentrated primarily in Japan, where a voluntary recall of around 1.3 million vehicles will address a faulty fuel delivery pipe and high pressure fuel pump check valve. A second, smaller-scale recall to address a different fuel problem includes about 245,000 Lexus IS and GS luxury models sold in North America.

The cars are being voluntarily recalled so that the company can inspect its fuel pressure sensor installation. The specific models affected by this recall in the U.S. include 2006-2007 Lexus GS300/350 sedans, 2006-2009 Lexus IS250 sedans and 2006-early 2008 Lexus IS350 sedans.

The latest round of recalls means that the car manufacturer has gone only 26 days in 2011 without issuing a recall, though it has been 42 days since the company’s last recall in mid-December, which affected 110,000 of its 2011 Sienna minivans in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Recall woes, of course, are nothing new for the company.  In 2010, Toyota (Stock Quote: TM) issued 15 major recalls that affected more than 6 million vehicles worldwide. Additionally, in September of 2009, the company recalled 3.8 million cars, trucks and SUVs in the U.S. when concerns arose that driver’s side floor mats could cause accelerator pedals to stick and possibly cause a car crash.

Last year’s faulty vehicles allegedly led to more than 100 deaths, as well as some massive lawsuits involving two deaths caused by Land Cruisers. Just this past December, Toyota agreed to pay the U.S. government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of the September 2009 and April 2010 recalls.

According to Toyota, the North American vehicles were recalled due to insufficient tightening of the fuel pressure sensor connected to certain engine fuel delivery pipes. The loosening causes fuel to leak past a gasket used in the connection between the sensor and the delivery pipe and through the a portion of the sensor itself.

The company said that, thus far, there have been no reports of accidents or deaths associated with either of its latest recalls. However, it has received 75 complaints in North America and more than 140 unhappy owners in Japan concerning the fuel problems.

Owners of the affected vehicles in the U.S. will receive a safety recall notification by mail once the needed parts are in stock. Any necessary repairs will be conducted at no cost to the owner.

Consumers can find additional information about this recall by contacting Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-25 LEXUS or 1-800-255-3987 or visiting the Lexus website.

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