New Toyota Recall: 1.7 Million Vehicles Worldwide to Fix Fuel Problems

For those who thought Toyota Motor's (TM) massive recalls were so last year, think again. The world's largest automaker announced late Tuesday that it's recalling 1.7 million cars worldwide to fix defective parts, including leaky fuel systems.

Most of the vehicles involved in the recall are Japanese. In the U.S., the recall involves 245,000 luxury Lexus vehicles, including the 2007 Lexus GS300 and GS350, 2006-09 Lexus IS250 and 2006-08 Lexus IS350, the automaker said in a statement.

The problem -- in the case of the U.S. recall -- is insufficient tightening of a fuel-pressure sensor connected to a specific type of fuel-delivery pipe, which could cause the sensor to loosen over time and leak fuel, Toyota says. The company doesn't suspect that the defects caused any accidents, The Associated Press reports.

Toyota is recalling an additional 176,000 cars in Canada, Europe and other markets for the same issue, Dow Jones Newswires reported. The fix involves inspecting for fuel leaks and tightening the fuel-pressure sensor, if necessary, Toyota says. As with nearly all vehicle recalls, dealerships will do the work free of charge for vehicle owners.

Notification Is In the Mail

Toyota said it would begin notifying owners by first-class mail once repair parts become available, but didn't specify a date. Customers with questions about the recall can call Toyota at 800-255-3987 or go to

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In addition to the sensor issue, Toyota also is recalling 1.3 million vehicles worldwide to repair a similar defect involving a high-pressure fuel-pump-check valve and fuel-delivery pipe. That recall doesn't involve any vehicles sold in the U.S., Toyota said in its statement.

This latest round of recalls brings the total number of Toyota vehicles recalled since late 2009 to more than 15 million worldwide, Reuters reports. The most recent big recall came in October, when Toyota said it would fix 1.7 million Avalons, Highlanders and other models worldwide mainly for a defect in the master cylinder brake seal.

The automaker, which has been besieged by numerous recalls in the last year, has sought to reaffirm its commitment to safety and quality to U.S. consumers by establishing a safety research center in Michigan and opening product quality field offices in five U.S. cities: Houston, Denver, New York, San Francisco and Jacksonville, Fla.

Toyota has also said it would be more forthcoming about problems it discovers in its vehicles. In three previous recalls, the company was accused of foot dragging, leading to U.S. fines totaling nearly $50 million, made up of the maximum allowable fine in each instance.