By Bernie Woodall
Car maker to recall Lexus, Toyota Crown sedans on concerns over valve springs.
Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it would recall 270,000 of its luxury Lexus models and Toyota Crown sedans for the chance that faulty valve springs may cause engine stalling.
Earlier on Friday, Toyota officials said that 90,000 Lexus and Toyota Crown sedans will be recalled in Japan.
That was followed by the U.S. Lexus division saying 138,000 Lexus sedans would be recalled and the Canadian Lexus division saying 3.700 Lexus owners would be asked to bring their cars in to dealerships for repair.
The recalled vehicles are from model years 2006 to 2008.
Transport ministries in the countries involved were informed Friday or would be informed early next week, Toyota said.
"Lexus vehicles, powered by 4.6 and 5.0 liter V8 and 3.5 liter V6 engines in certain 2006, 2007 and 2008 GS, IS and LS models" will be recalled in the United States, Lexus said.
Japan's Asahi newspaper reporting the move could cost the car maker up to 20 billion yen ($228 million).
Toyota declined to confirm the reported cost estimate for the recalls, which would amount to a relatively steep 74,000 yen ($844) a vehicle.
Since last September, Toyota has been plagued by a safety crisis that has led to the recall of more than 10 million vehicles globally, mostly for potential unintended acceleration.
About 7.3 million vehicles have been recalled in the United States, the automaker's biggest market.
Toyota shares traded in line with wider stock indices in both Japan and the United States on Friday.
A foreign material may have contaminated some valve springs in the manufacture of the sedans, which are produced in Japan.
"In extremely rare instances, the engine may stop while the vehicle is in operation," said U.S. Lexus.
The likelihood of a driver experiencing these problems with one of the cars is one in 500, U.S. Lexus said.
The Lexus models in the possible stalling issue are: GS 350, GS 450h, GS 460, IS 350, LS 460, LS 600h and LS 600hl. The models marked by "h" are gasoline-electric hybrids.
The recall would be the second for the luxury Lexus brand since last Friday, when Toyota told U.S. and Canadian safety regulators it was halting sales and recalling about 17,000 Lexus HS 250h hybrid sedans due to a potential fuel leak. (Reuters)