Source AP ©

Toyota, Mazda recall cars

Toyota announced recall of 264,000 luxury passenger vehicles over faulty fuel pipes Thursday, including 49,000 flagship Lexus cars sold overseas.

Separately, Mazda said it was recalling 184,000 Axela sedans to repair an electric cable defect in their engines.

Included in Toyota's recall are Lexus models produced in Japan in 2005 and sold overseas, and Lexus, Mark X, and Crown models sold in Japan, according to Toyota Motor Corp. spokeswoman Yoshie Matsuura.

Faulty fuel pipe design on the recalled models could cause cracks and corrosion and lead to a fuel leak, according to a notice filed with the Transport Ministry.

In the United States, 26,274 Lexus GS300, 5,429 Lexus IS250, and 2,640 Lexus IS350 vehicles are being recalled, Matsuura said. The recalled models were exported from Japan, she said, adding that the same models were also being recalled in Canada, England, and Germany.

There have been 39 cases of trouble within Japan but no reports of injuries, according to the Transport Ministry. It was not immediately clear whether any problems have been reported elsewhere.

The Japanese automaker has been hit with quality control problems in recent years, as it ramps up production to meet booming demand. Toyota has promised to beef up quality checks.

Included in Hiroshima-based Mazda Motor Corp.'s recall are some 138,000 vehicles sold overseas.

The vehicles being recalled were built between September 2003 and December 2006, according to a notice filed with the Transport Ministry.

The protective tube wrapping the cable is not strong enough to withstand the engine's heat and can wear through. The cable may be damaged as a result, leading to a short circuit that makes it impossible to start the engine, it said.

Ten cases have been reported in Japan, but with no reports of injuries, it said.

The Axela is sold abroad as the Mazda3, Mazda spokesman Takehide Hoshi said. The cars being recalled overseas went mostly to smaller markets, such as Israel and Singapore, he said.

Mazda is an affiliate of Ford Motor Co. of the U.S.

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