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Toyota issues yet another recall over faulty Lexus engine valve springs

Toyota issued yet another wave of recalls yesterday over engine faults that could affect up to 270,000 of its premium Lexus vehicles worldwide. The scare, which could hit as many as 3,200 British drivers, is just the latest technical hitch to hit the beleaguered Japanese manufacturer.

The world's biggest car maker has recalled more than 10 million vehicles since last September, and has faced global criticism for its response to a string of problems, including unintended acceleration and sticking floor mats affecting models such as the flagship Prius.

Only last week Akio Toyoda, the Toyota president, apologised for the crisis at the group's annual meeting. And earlier this year, he apologised to the US Congress for Toyota's slow response to complaints. The latest problem – which affects Lexus models GS450h, GS460, LS460 and LS600h – affects an engine valve spring. It could lead to "unstable idling" or even cause the engine to cut out altogether.

No accidents have been reported as a result of the defect.

"Lexus will do whatever it can to ensure that our customers' inconvenience is minimised," the company said.