February 09, 2010 09:36
Toyota's massive recall has spread beyond vehicles made in the U.S. to include those manufactured in Japan and its hybrid models. The latest news that Toyota will recall its high-end Lexus hybrid sedans after the Prius has sparked concerns that the carmaker's hybrid models may have fundamental technical defects.
Japanese media said Monday that Toyota will recall the HS250h, the hybrid version of the Lexus IS250 sport sedan, and the Sai luxury hybrid sedan this month. The HS250 was launched in July last year and the Sai last December. A total of 27,000 cars will be subject to the upcoming recall. The two are known to have the same brake system as the Prius, for which Toyota has already announced plans to recall as many as 300,000 vehicles due to a flawed electronic brake control system.
The HS250h is considered separate from other Lexus models, but as the first Lexus-brand model to be recalled it means that Toyota's crisis is growing rather than receding.
Toyota created the Lexus brand in 1989, targeting the U.S. market, and all Lexus cars are manufactured in Japan. With a reputation for high quality and fine performance, the brand has served as a cash cow for Toyota in the U.S.
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