Toyota halts sale of Lexus LS sedan as it awaits part to fix problem with steering system

By AP
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Toyota stops sale of Lexus LS as it awaits part

NEW YORK — Toyota Motor Corp. has stopped sales of the Lexus LS sedan for about three weeks while it works to get parts to dealers to fix a problem with the vehicle’s steering system, a spokesman said Monday.

Toyota on Friday recalled about 3,800 2009 and 2010 LS 460 and LS 600h sedans in the U.S. to fix a problem in which the steering wheel briefly shifts out of alignment with the wheels when it is turned to the extreme right or left and then re-centered. Toyota said it will remedy the problem by replacing the computer processor in the vehicle’s variable gear ratio steering system.

Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said Lexus dealers will stop selling the LS until they receive the new computer chips for installation. The new parts are likely to begin arriving in mid-to-late June, he said.

Toyota has recalled about 4,500 LS sedans in Japan and 2,750 elsewhere around the world due to the same problem. The LS is Lexus’s highest-end four-door sedan and is priced at $65,380 for the 460 and $108,800 for the 600h hybrid model.

Toyota has sold about 4,000 LS sedans in the U.S. so far this year, accounting for about 6 percent of all Lexus sales.

The automaker has been working to react faster to problems after coming under government scrutiny and being slapped with a record $16.4 million U.S. fine for its slow response to its accelerator pedal recalls.

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