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]