Toyota says 270,000 vehicles have faulty engines
WASHINGTON — Toyota Motor Corp. said yesterday that about 270,000 cars sold worldwide, including luxury Lexus sedans, have potentially faulty engines, in the latest quality issue to confront the Japanese automaker after a string of massive recalls.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Toyota had not formally notified it about a recall. Japan’s daily Yomiuri said the company will inform the Japanese transport ministry of a recall on Monday but the paper cited no sources.
Toyota spokesman Hideaki Homma in Japan said the company was evaluating measures to deal with the problem of defective engines that can stall while the vehicle is moving. He would not confirm a recall was being considered.
The world’s largest automaker has scrambled to repair its reputation following the recall of 8.5 million vehicles around the globe because of problems with sticking accelerator pedals and gas pedals that can get trapped in floor mats.
Toyota was slapped with a $16.4 million fine in the United States for acting too slowly to recall vehicles with defects. Toyota dealers have repaired millions of vehicles, but the automaker still faces more than 200 lawsuits tied to accidents, the lower resale value of Toyota vehicles, and the drop in stock.
US regulators are investigating what caused some vehicles to suddenly accelerate. That review is expected to be completed by late August. NHTSA officials are also reviewing whether Toyota waited nearly a year in 2005 to recall trucks and SUVs in the United States with defective steering rods, a case that could lead to additional fines.