Lexus recall over engine

TOKYO - Toyota started recalling more than 90,000 luxury Lexus and Crown vehicles yesterday in Japan over defective engines - the latest setback for the carmaker beset with quality problems.

Toyota said recalls in overseas markets would follow soon.

Toyota told the Japanese Government yesterday it was recalling 91,903 vehicles for flaws in the valve springs, a crucial engine component, that could make the automobile stall while in motion.

The quality problem affecting top-of-the-line products comes as Toyota struggles to move on from global recalls that started in October. It already has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles for various problems, including sticking accelerator pedals, braking software glitches and defective floor mats.

The world's top carmaker was fined a record US$16.4 million ($24 million) in the United States for responding too slowly when the recall crisis erupted.

The company announced the latest quality problems last week, estimated to affect about 270,000 vehicles around the world, 138,000 of them in the United States. About 230 complaints have been reported.

- AP

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