Beleaguered Toyota to recall 270,000 vehicles

Toyota is to recall 270,000 Lexus and other vehicles worldwide to fix faulty engines in the latest quality lapse at the car maker.

Flaws in valve springs, a crucial engine component, could make the vehicle stall while it is moving, Toyota spokesman Hideaki Homma said in announcing the recall.

Lexus general manager Mark Templin said contaminated materials had been used for valve springs during manufacturing.

Toyota has received about 200 complaints over faulty engines in Japan but no accidents were reported there or abroad, Mr Homma said. Some drivers told Toyota that engines made a strange noise.

The global recall that starts on Monday affects seven luxury Lexus sedan models as well as the popular Crown, Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said.

Of the 270,000 recalled cars, 180,000 were sold overseas and 90,000 in Japan.

The car maker was already scrambling to repair its reputation after 8.5 million vehicles were recalled beginning in October because of problems with sticking accelerator pedals and other issues.

Toyota was slapped with a record $16.4m (€13m) fine in the United States for acting too slowly to recall vehicles with defects.

Japan’s major daily newspaper Asahi said the latest recall of 270,000 vehicles could cost Toyota around $227m (€180m). Toyota could not confirm the report.

Toyota will inform Japan’s transport ministry of a recall of 90,000 vehicles on Monday. It will take action for overseas markets as soon as next week.

Dealers have repaired millions of vehicles following the massive global recalls, but the car maker still faces more than 200 lawsuits tied to accidents, the lower resale value of Toyota vehicles, and the drop in the company’s stock.

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