Toyota recalls 7,500 Land Cruiser, Lexus cars in Europe
Japanese automaker Toyota announced Monday the recall of some 7,500 Land Cruiser and Lexus sports utility vehicles in Europe due to potential rolling problems.
The recall involves the Land Cruiser 150 (Prado) and the Lexus GX 460, and comes hours after 6,000 of the Lexus model were recalled in the United States amid concerns over the same issue, first raised by a US magazine.
"All customers owning one of the involved models will be personally notified in the coming days," said Toyota in a statement, adding there had been no reports of complaints or accidents linked to the issue in Europe.
The recall was "in order to carry out a reprogramming of the Vehicle Stability Control software to improve its responsiveness", it said.
The suspension system in some of the vehicles meant there was the possibilty of the car sliding out when the driver made a sharp turn of the steering wheel at high speed, or was negotiating a right curve at speed, it said.
"To date, there have been no reports of complaints or accidents linked to this issue in Europe," the statement said, adding that only left-hand vehicles in Europe were affected.
Toyota suspended production and global sales of the Lexus GX 460 on Thursday after US magazine Consumer Reports gave it a rare "Don't Buy: Safety Risk" rating because of a rollover danger.
When pushed to its limits, the SUV's rear "slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the electronic stability control system was able to regain control," the magazine said.
The carmaker has come under intense scrutiny after it issued roughly 10.5 million recall notices worldwide in the past seven months and its previously stellar reputation for safety has been left in tatters.
More than 50 deaths in the United States have been blamed on defects that allegedly caused the vehicles to speed uncontrollably and Toyota faces a slew of legal challenges in US courts.
It agreed Monday to pay a record 16.4-million-dollar fine in the United States for hiding gas pedal defects.
© 2010 AFP