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Official: Lexus to recall 270,000 vehicles

by Mark Kleis

Following a series of reports concerning faulty engines in several high-end Lexus models, the automaker now says a worldwide recall will be announced Monday.

Following an initial report yesterday of engine stalling issues on 270,000 Lexus and Crown vehicles, Lexus is now set to begin the recall process for 90,000 vehicles in Japan starting on Monday.

A Toyota spokesman, Paul Nolasco, confirmed to the Associated Press on Friday (local time in Japan) that the automaker will officially announce the recall of some 90,000 Lexus and Crown models in Japan. Nolasco said that Toyota is preparing to notify Japan's transport ministry - the Japanese equivalent of America's NHTSA - that the recall will be necessary as of Monday, but Toyota has not given any indication as to when a recall will issued in the U.S.

What will this recall cost Toyota?
In addition to whatever damage may be incurred to the brands themselves, estimates of repairs are a reported $844 per vehicle - suggesting a total cost of $228 million for the automaker, not including whatever damage control measures and rental car agreements may be necessary as a result. Although a near-quarter billion dollar recall is certainly substantial, it would be manageable for the automaker based on the known cash reserves available to address such issues.

According to federal law, which already landed Toyota in trouble before, the automaker must notify NHTSA of any recalls issued in world markets for problems also found in the U.S. - meaning that a recall will soon follow in the U.S., or Toyota will face more penalties.

In addition to the 90,000 vehicles set to be recalled in Japan, there are another 180,000 vehicles with the affected engines worldwide, with roughly 137,000 of those believed to have been sold in the U.S.

The models sold in the U.S. which will likely be included in the recall will be the IS350, GS350, GS460, GS450h, LS460 and LS600hL.

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