Toyota Adds 666,000 Cars to Oil Hose Fix List

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When Toyota Motor (TM) officials appear before a Senate committee Tuesday, they'll have even more quality concerns about their vehicles to explain to lawmakers. That's because Tuesday, the world's largest automaker announced it had expanded a service campaign to replace leaking engine oil hoses by another 666,000 vehicles, raising the total involved to 1.6 million.

On Monday, Toyota said it would replace the defective hoses, which could lead to engine damage, in some 933,000 cars and trucks in the U.S. The additional vehicles involved include 76,000 units in Canada, 45,000 cars in Japan, an additional 315,000 vehicles in the U.S. and 230,000 others in 90 other countries, including many in Europe, Reuters reported, quoting a Toyota spokeswoman in Tokyo.The defect affects some Camry, Avalon, Rav4 and Lexus ES 350 and RX 350 vehicles equipped with V6 engines.

Since the leaks aren't considered a safety problem, no recall has been issued. Toyota has not provided an estimate of how much the repair campaign will cost the company. Toyota owners can have the problem repaired for free until March 31, but they will have to compete for time at the dealerships with those who own vehicles which have been recalled and have yet to be repaired. Toyota has so far recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles worldwide for acceleration and braking issues.

Further Recalls

General Motors said Tuesday it is recalling 1.3 million cars, including the venerable Chevrolet Cobalt compact, for a power steering problem that could result in additional steering effort at speeds below 15 miles an hour. In addition to 2005-10 Cobalts, the recall involves 2007-10 Pontiac G5s, 2005-06 Pontiac Pursuits sold in Canada and 2005-06 Pontiac G4s sold in Mexico. The Detroit-based automaker told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the recall Monday after finishing an investigation that began last year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

During an appearance before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was questioned about reports of steering problems in the Chevy Cobalt. Asked why a recall hadn't been issued, LaHood responded the NHTSA was looking into the matter.
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