Troubled Toyota starts world recall for engine fix

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Toyota started a global recall over engine defects in its Lexus and Crown models, moving to repair more than 95,000 vehicles in Japan and South Korea over the latest trouble for the automaker beset with quality problems.

Toyota Motor Corp. had said Friday that 270,000 cars worldwide would be recalled to replace valve springs, crucial engine components that are flawed in the recalled vehicles and could make them stall while in motion.

The world's top automaker informed the Japanese government of the recall in that country Monday, and other countries were to follow. South Korea's Transport Ministry said Tuesday that 3,704 vehicles would be recalled there.

The total includes 138,000 vehicles in the U.S., 91,903 in Japan, 15,000 in Europe, 10,000 in the Middle East, 6,000 in China, 4,000 in Canada, and 8,000 elsewhere.

"We apologize for inconveniencing our customers. We hope to fix the problem soon," company spokesman Paul Nolasco said in a statement.

Toyota has received about 200 complaints, but no accidents due to the defects have been reported. Officials have blamed the problem on a foreign substance being introduced during manufacturing of the valve springs.

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