Toyota Motor Corp. will recall about 1.7 million vehicles globally, including 423,000 of its high-end Lexus models in the U.S. to fix a potential fuel leak that could cause a fire. Toyota discovered the fuel system problem after years of complaints about gasoline odors coming from the cars. The complaints started to filter up to Toyota in June 2010, but an inspection of the vehicles didn’t find any problems and could not pinpoint the source of the smell, Toyota spokesman John Hanson said. Toyota investigators eventually noticed, however, that all the complaints involved cars produced after certain manufacturing dates going back to the 2006 model year. The vehicles all had fuel pipes in the engine compartment that were manufactured with a plating to protect against corrosion. Gaskets on some of pipes could be prone to leaking, Toyota found, creating the gas smell and creating a fire hazard. Hanson said Toyota is not aware of any fires, crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by this condition. In the U.S., Toyota will recall the following cars: 2007 through 2010 model year Lexus LS sedans; 2006 through 2011 model year GS; 2006 through 2011 model year IS; 2010 model year IS C; and 2008 through 2010 model year IS-F vehicles. It will recall another 320,000 of the vehicles in other markets. In another big recall, Toyota will bring back 800,000 vehicles sold in Japan, China and other parts of Asia to fix a brake problem. The vehicles include the Toyota Crown, Crown Majesta, Noah and Voxy. Earlier this year, Toyota agreed to pay a $1.2-billion fine to settle a four-year federal criminal investigation into whether it properly reported safety complaints about the sudden acceleration. It is the largest penalty of its kind ever imposed on an automotive company in the U.S. Toyota was formally charged with one count of wire fraud, but the Justice Department will dismiss the charge after three years if the automaker abides by the settlement terms. As part of the agreement, the Justice Department appointed David Kelley, a former U.S. attorney, to serve as the independent safety monitor at Toyota’s U.S. operations. Automakers have recalled a record 50 million vehicles in the U.S. this year — about one out of every five cars on the road.
Many potential buyers struggle to get past the people mover tag with the Odyssey but in this price range it’s hard, if not impossible, to beat this vehicle for usable interior room. It’s perfect for fitting in pushchairs and other young family requirements as well as retaining plenty of comfy space for adult occupants. Just be aware that the Absolute is a highly specced model and prices will no doubt be pumped to reflect this. However, items such as audio/DVD and Bluetooth systems will all be in Japanese, and GPS, if fitted, won’t work in NZ at all. So try and negotiate an English in-dash upgrade to be installed before committing to purchase especially if buying from a licensed trader (dealer).
What it became is a proper sleeper. You look at it and you might think it is a slightly visually tweaked family sedan. Wrong. It’s got a heart transplant that now provides tons of magical horses to gallop forward. 200 plus snorting galloping beasts. The 6-speed manual transmission means power is on demand. More redlining, more brap-brap exhaust snorts upon acceleration. We didn’t do any 0-180 km/h timings. Not while writing this article anyway. But this thing surprises way too many other cars on the road when it pulls out ahead. THey look at it, they see it rolling past and they be hating. A little efficiency is lost but then, this car isn’t really killing polar bears.