Toyota to Recall Hybrid SUVs for Faulty Wiring

<"">Toyota, still recovering from headline-making safety problems that plagued the company the past two years, has announced another vehicle recall. This time, the auto giant is recalling about 82,200 hybrid SUVs in the United States over computer boards with potentially faulty wiring, said FreeP. Highlander and Lexus-brand hybrid SUVs from Toyota’s 2006 and 2007 model year lines are affected.

This recall involves about 45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus Rx 400h vehicles, said FreeP, citing a Toyota news release. Toyota explained that the vehicles’ hybrid system contains a defective computer board that, due to inadequate soldering, could experience damage when high-load driving, said FreeP. If damaged, the vehicles would operate with diminished power for a small distance, or would simply coast to a stop, said FreeP.

Meanwhile, Toyota is still trying to recover from record-breaking recalls it issued in 2009 and 2010 that were driven by complaints of sticky gas pedals and door mats that had the potential to jam gas pedals. “Toyota City” paid an historic $48.8 million in fines for how some recalls were carried out; some of its key officials, including its president, were called to Congress.

Previously, NASA, the U.S. space agency, said it found no electronic issues that would cause the acceleration, following its review; however, Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies and a member of the panel, said the report showed “deficiencies” in Toyota’s vehicle electronics. “NASA identified numerous failures in Toyota electronics that could lead to unwanted acceleration,” Kane said in an e- mailed statement, quoted Bloomberg News.

About a year ago, Toyota recalled millions of vehicles for unintended acceleration issues. Recently, Toyota announced it was recalling 2.17 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles sold in the U.S. for flaws that could jam gas pedals, leading to instances of unintended acceleration. Worldwide, 14 million Toyota vehicles have been recalled over unintended acceleration issues over the past 18 months.

Most recently, Toyota recalled 2.17 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles sold in the U.S. for flaws that could jam gas pedals, leading to instances of unintended acceleration. As of that time, worldwide, 14 million Toyota vehicles were recalled over unintended acceleration issues in the prior 18 months.

Because of its safety woes, assessed $32 million in fines following Department of Transportation (DOT) investigations into how Toyota handled two recalls concerning sudden acceleration and steering problem. In one case, Toyota agreed to pay $16.375 million after the NHTSA found it delayed advising the federal government that accelerator pedals in its vehicles could became snagged by floor mats, causing vehicles to speed out of control. In the other case, Toyota agreed to pay $16.050 million over accusations it inappropriately delayed a recall of nearly one million trucks and SUVs over defective steering rods.

Toyota is also facing hundreds of personal-injury, death and economic-damage lawsuits in state and federal courts related to unintended acceleration of its vehicles.

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