Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Toyota Recalls Lexus SUVs Because of Fuel Leak Hazards

The latest Toyota recall is reminding class action attorneys of the Ford Pinto exploding gas tank crisis of the 70s. Toyota Motor Corp. has just announced a recall of approximately 17,000 Lexus HS 250h vehicles. This recall is linked to a possible fuel leak problem that could contribute to explosions and fires. In addition to the recall, Toyota has also announced a halt to the sales of these sport-utility vehicles.

For a company that prides itself on its auto safety record (or at least did, until the acceleration crisis broke last year) it is surprising that this fuel leak problem was not revealed by the company's own testing. It was testing authorized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that revealed that these vehicles could leak fuel during a rear impact accident. The NHTSA hired a contractor to do the testing, which found that upon impact, the vehicle leaked more than the maximum allowed limit for such leakage, which is 142 g. The NHTSA then informed Toyota that it was not in compliance of fuel leak standards, and Toyota promptly issued a recall. You don't need to be a class action attorney to know that excessive fuel leakage during an accident can lead to catastrophic explosions.

This latest recall confirms that it's not just acceleration problems that seem to plague Toyota vehicles. Another Lexus model was involved in a recall earlier this year. That recall came after a test by Consumer Reports found that the vehicle was at a high risk of a rollover while making turns. Toyota immediately conducted testing which confirmed the problem, and the company issued a recall.

In this latest recall, Toyota has no immediate plans to fix the problems. All in all, it doesn't look like Toyota's troubles are ending anytime soon. The company’s total tally of recalled vehicles has touched 10 million since last year when the first recalls came in response to the acceleration problem.

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