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Drip, drip: Latest recalls make 12 for Toyota, Lexus

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Drip, drip: Latest recalls make 12 for Toyota, Lexus

08:19 AM

By Mark Humphrey, AP

The latest Toyota recalls, announced yesterday, involving the certain older Avalons sedans and Lexus LX470 SUVs for unrelated steering problems underscore how the automaker's safety problems just aren't letting up. So maybe it's time we give you a summary of the Toyota Motor recalls of 2010.

So far this year, we count 12, equally divided between the Lexus and Toyota divisions. We list them all below. Over the past year, about 9.5 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles have been recalled in the U.S., by the Associated Press' count. It's hard to think of any other time in recent history that a single automaker has had so many recalls, although we suspect others have had higher totals.

The drip-drip of recalls continues despite Toyota's advertising campaign about its Star Safety System and a just-completed, junket to Japen for a group of American auto writers to tout how the company is tackling its safety problems. But because of the the continuing recalls, it can't seem to repair its damaged image. Comedian Jimmy Fallon, noting the two latest recalls on NBC's Late Night show last night, said Toyota's crisis manager must be saying, "It's good to be back!"

The Toyota spokesman assigned to talk about the latest recalls didn't return out phone call yesterday, but Toyota's new U.S. quality chief sent a letter to the New York Times this week that says Toyota is "making extraordinary efforts to service our recalled vehicles with effective and durable solutions for these issues." The chief, Steve St. Angelo adds, "All of our new cars and trucks are now being equipped with even more advanced safety technologies, including our Star Safety System, brake override and improved event data recorders that read both pre- and post-crash data."

But for a prestige brand for Lexus, the continued pace of the recalls must hurt. Here's the separate recalls culled from Toyota's lists. Some are for current models, others for older ones. Not how Lexus LS, HS 250h and Avalon were subject to more than one recall:

Lexus Division

LX470: steering problems

LS: valve springs

HS250h: fuel safety in a crash

LS: steering problems

GX460: stability software

HS250h: brakes

Toyota division

Avalon: steering problems

Sequoia: steering problems

Sienna: spare tire cable

Tacoma: Drive shaft

Prius: brakes

RAV4, Corolla, Matrix, Avalon, Camry, Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia: sticky accelerator pedals that could cause the car to become a runaway.

And this list doesn't include last year's pedal-jam recall, also aimed at keeping cars from becoming runaways.



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