LEAD: Toyota to recall Lexus hybrid vehicle over fuel spill concern
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NEW YORK, Jun. 26, 2010 (Kyodo News International) --
(Editors: ADDING DETAILS)

Toyota Motor Corp. announced Friday it will recall the 2010 model of its luxury hybrid Lexus HS 250h sold in the United States over concern that it may cause a fuel spill in a collision.

The automaker said it is working to identify a remedy and will notify owners as soon as one is developed. The recall affects 17,000 units and dealers will not deliver any new vehicles in their inventory until remedied, the automaker said.

The company said it has no plan to withdraw the model in Japan as it meets safety standards.

The HS 250h was put on the U.S. market in August last year. Toyota said there have been no reports of fuel spills in accidents involving the model.

A recent test by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration involving striking the vehicle with a barrier from the rear showed fuel spillage exceeding the requirement under a federal vehicle safety standard, Toyota said.

Toyota said its own test under the same protocol during development had found the vehicle to comply with the standard.

The HS 250h, along with its flagship hybrid Prius, was subject to another recall in February due to a defective brake. The latest voluntary recall could adversely impact Toyota's U.S. operations that have been emerging from the unprecedented recall problem.

Toyota has recalled millions of its cars in the United States and other parts of the world since last year over sudden acceleration problems and other defects.

Toyota Motor Kyushu Inc., the Toyota subsidiary producing the HS 250h in Japan, said it will halt production for the North American market for the time being.

 

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