Toyota has issued yet another recall today, its largest ever.
This time it's of nearly 1.7 million cars, including its top-selling Lexus IS and GS sedans in the U.S., for problems related to its fuel pressure sensor, and problems with fuel lines that are prone to cracking, both of which could cause fuel to leak in the engine compartment and for the cars to, well, explode.
Of the 1.7 million, 255,000 are of its luxury Lexus brands in the U.S., 10,000 in Europe and 1.3 million in Japan. The recalls are of its 2006-07 Lexus GS300/350 sedans, its 2006-09 Lexus IS250 sedans and its 2006-early 08 Lexus IS350 sedans.
The recall is the latest in a string of recalls and safety issues for the carmaker, the world’s second largest behind Germany’s Volkswagen-Porsche. The cost of the recall will total about $240 million, according to a company statement, but further tarnishes the automaker’s image.
The carmaker has recalled over 12 million cars since the end of 2009, most of which were sold in the U.S. At the end of last year, Toyota agreed to pay about $32 million in fines in the U.S. to settle government probes of two of its previous recalls, after earlier paying a $16.4 million fine over a previous recall.
At the end of 2005, the company issued it second largest recall and its largest in Japan of 1.3 million Corollas for headlight and switch problems.
Auto analyst Koji Endo of Advanced Research in Tokyo told reporters, “There’s the perception of ‘here we go again,’ and that hurts Toyota’s image.”
This morning’s recall is in line with the plans of the company’s president, Akio Toyoda to come clean immediately after discovering a problem. The company’s image was tarnished over the past five years, as it was accused of dragging its feet on flaws during the manufacture of some process its cars.
Still, Toyota overcame General Motors for the third consecutive year as the world’s second largest automaker, according to U.S. News and World Report.