Toyota Recalls 1.53 Million Cars Globally

TOKYO (AP) - Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it is recalling 1.53 million Lexus, Avalon and other models, mostly in the U.S. and Japan, for brake fluid and fuel pump problems.

Toyota will call back about 740,000 cars in the U.S. for repairs and 599,000 in Japan. The remainder are in Europe and other markets around the world.

Over the past year, the world's biggest automaker has recalled more than 10 million cars and trucks worldwide for a variety of problems, including sticky gas pedals, dealing a major blow to its reputation for quality.

The majority of vehicles need to be fixed for a problem with the brake master cylinder, which could lead to weaker braking power, said spokesman Paul Nolasco in Tokyo.

Some of the models in Japan have an electrical problem with the fuel pump, which could lead the engine to stall, Nolasco said.

No accidents have been reported from the two problems, he said.

The models affected in the U.S. include the 2005 and 2006 Avalon, 2004 through 2006 non-hybrid Highlander and Lexus RX330, and 2006 Lexus GS300, IS250, and IS350 vehicles, the company said in a release from its U.S. headquarters in Torrance, California.

The release said a small amount of the brake fluid could slowly leak from the brake master cylinder, resulting in illumination of the brake warning lamp.

U.S.-based owners of the vehicles will be notified by mailings beginning early next month. Toyota and Lexus dealers will replace the brake master cylinder cup with a newly designed one at no charge to the vehicle owners, the company said.

The models affected in Japan include the Crown, Crown Majesta, Harrier, Mark X, Alphard, Kluger, Lexus GX 350, Lexus IS250, and Lexus IS350.

CNN reporter Nicole Collins joins NECN for a discussion.

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