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Lexus Admits It Knew About Engine Problems

Cover-up or innocent error?

by on Jul.06, 2010

When did Toyota know it had an engine stalling problem - and why did it wait to order a recall?

What did they know and when did they know it?  It’s the sort of question that can bring down a president – or raise some serious concerns about an already troubled automaker.  Like Toyota, where a spokesman acknowledges the company knew about the problem with stalling engines in its Lexus luxury line for at least two years.

The automaker even took steps to replace an apparently defective spring linked to the problem, but ultimately waited until the beginning of July 2010 to order a recall.  In all, 270,000 vehicles sold worldwide are involved in the action, including 138,000 sold under the Lexus brand, here in the U.S.

(Click Here for the details on the Lexus recall.)

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The delay in ordering a recall threatens to raise new questions about Toyota’s approach to quality and safety, even as the embattled automaker has been taking steps to calm American consumers in the wake of an ongoing safety scandal that reached its high point, last February, when Toyota Motor Co. CEO Akio Toyoda testified at a Congressional investigation.  Just last month, Toyota was forced to halt sales of the Lexus HS250h hybrid due to a potential fuel leak problem.  And the maker also saw its standing in a widely-quoted quality survey drop precipitously.