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Toyota's new woes: complaints of faulty engines

WASHINGTON - Toyota Motor Corp. said yesterday that about 270,000 cars sold worldwide, including luxury Lexus sedans, have potentially faulty engines, in the latest quality issue to confront the Japanese automaker after a string of massive recalls.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Toyota had not formally notified it about a recall. Japan's top-selling daily Yomiuri said the company will inform the Japanese transport ministry of a recall on Monday, but the paper cited no sources.

Toyota spokesman Hideaki Homma in Japan said the company is evaluating measures to deal with the problem of defective engines that can stall while the vehicle is moving. He would not confirm a recall was being considered.

The world's largest automaker has scrambled to repair its reputation following the recall of 8.5 million vehicles around the globe because of problems with sticking accelerator pedals and gas pedals that can get trapped in floor mats.

In the latest safety concern, about 90,000 vehicles with the engine problems were sold in Japan, and the remaining 180,000 vehicles were sold overseas. They include the popular Crown and seven models of luxury Lexus sedans. It was not immediately clear which vehicle models sold in the United States were affected.

Toyota said it has received about 200 complaints in Japan over faulty engines.

Toyota spokesman Ed Lewis said the company had not formally notified the U.S. highway safety agency about the issue. He could not confirm any plans for a recall in the United States.

- AP


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