Toyota announces Japanese Lexus recall

Toyota said today it will recall 4,500 Lexus vehicles in Japan to fix a computerised steering problem, with another 7,000 vehicles overseas also likely affected.

The world's biggest carmaker received 12 complaints about the problem within Japan, but knows of no accidents that it has caused worldwide, according to spokesman Paul Nolasco.

After being hit with a record 16.4 million US dollar fine in the US and facing strong government criticism both at home and abroad for slow responses to safety problems, Toyota is working to react more quickly.

The company yesterday paid the fine in the US, where it still faces hundreds of state and federal lawsuits.

The latest issue affects Toyota's luxury Lexus "LS" line, and involves a computerised system that oversees how the steering wheel controls the tyres.

In addition to the 4,500 cars sold in Japan, about 7,000 have been sold abroad, including about 3,800 in the US, 150 in Europe and 800 in China, with others sold in areas such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia.

The steering system comes as standard in Japanese models, but is optional in some other regions.

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