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Toyota recalls 369,000 vehicles worldwide

Toyota’s reputation was tarnished by recalls begun five years ago; it has since redoubled quality-control efforts.

EPA/File 2013

Toyota’s reputation was tarnished by recalls begun five years ago; it has since redoubled quality-control efforts.

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 200,000 vehicles worldwide for a hybrid-system problem and another 169,000 vehicles for an engine bolt defect.

The first recall is over an inverter in the hybrid system for the Lexus RX400 and the Highlander models overseas, and the Harrier and Kluger hybrids in Japan. Some 141,000 vehicles are being recalled in the United States and 15,000 in Japan. The defect may trip an alarm, and the hybrid may stop running.

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The second involves the Lexus GS350, IS350, Crown, and Mark X models, including 106,000 vehicles in North America and 59,000 vehicles in Japan. The bolts may loosen, causing the engine to stall.

Toyota’s reputation for quality was tarnished by recalls that started five years ago and ultimately included almost every model.

The company was criticized for being reluctant to admit to quality defects and slow to initiate recalls. Stung by the fiasco, Toyota has since redoubled its quality control efforts to protect its brand, particularly in the crucial US market.

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