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Toyota to recall 4,500 Lexus vehicles in Japan over steering problem

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Toyota to recall 4,500 Lexus vehicles in Japan over steering problem

Jay Alabaster / Associated Press

Tokyo -- Toyota said today it will recall 4,500 Lexus vehicles in Japan to fix a computerized steering problem, with another 7,000 vehicles overseas also likely affected.

The world's biggest automaker has received 12 complaints about the problem within Japan, but knows of no accidents that it has caused worldwide, according to spokesman Paul Nolasco.

After being hit with a record $16.4 million fine in the U.S. and facing strong government criticism both at home and abroad for slow responses to safety problems, Toyota Motor Corp. is working to react more quickly. The company on Tuesday paid the fine in the U.S., where it still faces hundreds of state and federal lawsuits.

The latest issue affects Toyota's luxury Lexus "LS" line, and involves a computerized system that oversees how the steering wheel controls the tires. The Lexus line is Toyota's top-priced luxury sedan brand, and includes the "LS 600h" hybrid.

In addition to the 4,500 cars sold in Japan, about 7,000 have been sold abroad, including about 3,800 in the U.S., 150 in Europe and 800 in China, with others sold in areas such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia.

The steering system comes as standard in Japanese models, but is optional in some other regions. It varies the amount that the steering wheel turns the tires on a car , allowing drivers to turn the wheel less at low speeds when attempting to navigate or park in tight spots and providing finer control at high speeds.

The system can take "a few seconds" to return the steering to normal after it has been adjusted, which led to complaints from drivers, Nolasco said.

He said Toyota was preparing to conduct a recall in Japan soon, but wasn't sure of the exact timing.

The company is looking to demonstrate it can respond rapidly to problems in its cars. Toyota is currently facing a new investigation by authorities in the U.S. because it waited a year to recall vehicles there after a similar recall in Japan, despite dozens of reports of problems from American drivers.

Toyota quickly recalled about 10,000 Lexus SUVs in April in the U.S. after Consumer Reports magazine put a "Don't Buy" recommendation on them for failing an emergency handling test. The magazine lifted the warning after the recall, which applied to about 34,000 vehicles worldwide.

Toyota has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide for safety defects affecting some of its best-selling models. The U.S. Transportation Department is reviewing thousands of Toyota documents and could issue new penalties for the company's handling of other safety recalls.

The recalls have prompted the first major review of U.S. auto safety laws in Congress since tire recalls by Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. in 2000.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100519/AUTO01/5190387/1148/auto01/Toyota-to-recall-4-500-Lexus-vehicles-in-Japan-over-steering-problem#ixzz0oNX1WwcU

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Lexus to recall 11,500 LS model sedans over steering issue

05/19/2010, 12:12 AM BY MARK KLEIS

Possibly showing a change in how Toyota will now approach recall matters, the automaker has announced that it will be recalling approximately 11,500 Lexus LS models based on only 12 complaints surrounding the electronic steering system. The recall will affect the LS460, LS460L, LS600h and LS600hL sedans.

According to a report by Dow Jones, Toyota announced today that it will be recalling approximately, 11,500 LS model sedans worldwide due to a faulty electronic control system for the steering wheel.

Toyota says that approximately 4,500 on the LS460, LS460L, LS600h and LS600hL sedans are located in Japan, with another 7,000 vehicles in 50 world markets – including the U.S. and China.

To date, Toyota has received 12 complaints, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The electrical component that is causing the failure comes standard in the Japanese market LS sedans, while it is an option in other markets such as Europe and the U.S.

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/lexus-to-recall-11500-ls-model-sedans-over-steering-issue.html

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Toyota recalls Lexus cars in Japan, U.S. to follow

Jay Alabaster / Associated Press

Tokyo -- Toyota Motor Corp. began a recall today of 4,509 Lexus cars in Japan because of a computer problem affecting the model's steering system, with a similar recall to follow in the U.S.

The carmaker said Wednesday it would recall the cars in Japan, with another 7,000 affected in the U.S., China, Europe and other regions. The recall affects Toyota's luxury Lexus "LS" line and involves a computerized system that oversees how the steering wheel controls the tires.

After being hit with a record $16.4 million fine in the U.S. for being slow to carry out an accelerator pedal recall and facing strong government criticism both at home and abroad for slow responses to safety problems, Toyota Motor Corp. is working to react more quickly to problems with its cars. The company on Tuesday paid the fine in the U.S. where it still faces hundreds of state and federal lawsuits.

A document posted today on the Transport Ministry's website shows the latest recall covers Lexus vehicles manufactured from late August through mid-May. It said there have been 12 complaints about the issue, with no accidents reported.

A statement on Toyota's website said preparations also were being made to launch a recall in the U.S. later today. There are about 4,000 affected Lexus cars in the U.S., according to company spokesman Paul Nolasco.

The fix requires a software update of the steering system.

Toyota has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide for safety defects affecting some of its best-selling models. The U.S. Transportation Department is reviewing thousands of Toyota documents and could issue new penalties for the company's handling of other safety recalls.

The recalls have prompted the first major review of U.S. auto safety laws in Congress since tire recalls by Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. in 2000.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100521/AUTO01/5210391/1148/auto01/Toyota-recalls-Lexus-cars-in-Japan--U.S.-to-follow#ixzz0oZGGwmGt

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