Toyota Recalls 17,000 Lexus HS 250h Hybrids Over Potential Fire Risks

No, you’re not having a flashback. This is a new Toyota recall, and it’s not based on sticky pedals, stuck floormats or problems with emergency handling. This time, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the problem is that the Lexus HS 250h hybrid could leak fuel in rear-end collisions, potentially causing fires. Sales of the vehicle have been halted as Toyota works on a solution.

Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said that the company isn’t aware of any incidents involving the HS 250h.

Although a recall of 17,000 sedans is small in comparison with the more than 10 million recall notices issued by Toyota since September, it is notable because it was ordered by NHTSA after the regulator spotted a defect that Toyota did not find in its own testing.

As such, it mirrors a recall of the Lexus GX 460 in April, which took place after the magazine Consumer Reports unearthed a handling problem in its testing. Toyota subsequently replicated that problem on its own and announced a recall of nearly 10,000 sport utility vehicles.

Lyons said that Toyota conducted tests to verify that the Lexus hybrid was in compliance with federal safety standards before releasing the vehicle, and that no problems with the fuel tank were found.

In crash tests conducted by a NHTSA contractor, more than 142 grams of fuel leaked after a crash at about 50 mph. Toyota plans to replicate the test. “We’re still working to determine what the root cause of the condition is,” Lyons said.

Toyota recalls Lexus HS 250h hybrid [latimes.com]

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  1. kyle4 says:

    Wow, they just can’t win can they? Their new advertising about how safe their cars are gets a laugh everytime it’s played. I know it’s for damage control but still, so many damn recalls!

  2. Eli the Ice Man says:

    Toyota should just give in already and recall every car they’ve ever produced.

  3. Grabraham says:

    GM sales must be slipping without the subsidies … time to push down on the other cars again

  4. Brent says:

    Kudos to Toyota for issuing the recall and halting sales.

  5. BurtReynolds says:

    Luckily for them, they probably haven’t sold many of those 17,000. That thing is hideous.

    Even in my area where you get a huge “car tax” break for buying a hybrid, plus a HOV-2 exemption, and tons of brand whores, I’ve only seen a handful of those HS250s.

  6. Trevor says:

    Since this car is on the same platform of the Prius, shouldn’t they be testing that for the same issue as well? I doubt the fuel storage system was redesigned just for this model.

    • vrefron says:

      I almost guarantee it’s a different fuel tank. Other than full-size trucks, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of 2 models sharing a fuel tank.

      Also, I understand that fuel leaks are bad, but let’s keep this in perspective. Hitting an object at 50mph is a pretty heinous crash. 142 grams of fuel leaking is a bad thing. But the redirection of energy required to guarantee an intact fuel tank makes me wonder how more companies don’t have problems with this stuff.

      My point is, all modern cars are incredibly safe. We have a tendency to split hairs with car safety, when we should be focusing on the biggest factor; driver behavior.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      It is actually not based on the Prius, although it looks like Lexus-fied Prius. The HS is based on a Japanese model called the Toyota Allion or called the Avensis in Europe.

  7. pantheonoutcast says:

    “We’re still working to determine what the root cause of the condition is.”

    The Japanese have finally reached the equilibrium point wherein they maintain the same lower quality standards, subpar materials and outsourced, unskilled labor as the American manufacturers in their neverending quest for higher profit margins.

  8. Wysguy says:

    So much for their commericals reporting $1,000,000 spent per hour for safety.

    Introducing the Lexus Pinto!