Toyota Recalling Over 54,000 Cars; Nissan, 8,751 Trucks

Toyota initiates recall after engine fires, Nissan said trucks have defective parking brakes.

Tokyo (AP) – Toyota Motor Corp. has recalled about 54,000 passenger cars because of engine problems that led to at least two fires in cars left parked with their engines running, Japan’s Transport Ministry said Thursday.

Subject to recall are 54,217 vehicles in two models, including the Harrier sport utility vehicle and Windom sedan. The vehicles have a defect that can cause the engine’s computer control system to malfunction and possibly catch fire, Transport Ministry official Yasuyoshi Nakamura said.

There were two cases of fires in Japan, both in cars that had been left parked with their engines running. No injuries were reported, Nakamura said. A total of 26 complaints have been filed about the vehicles in Japan between 2003 and September 2006.

The recalled models, all of which were sold in Japan, were produced between December 1997 and November 2000. None were exported, Nakamura said.

Toyota has said the problem was caused by faulty wiring in the sensor that monitors the engine’s internal combustion as well as a computer program glitch, Nakamura said.

Also Thursday, Japanese truck and bus maker Nissan Diesel Motor Co. said it is recalling 8,751 trucks – the Big Thumb model – due to defective parking brakes, another transport official Nobuhito Kiuchi said.

The trucks involved were produced between January 2000 and August 2005 and all sold in Japan. None were exported, he said.

The parking brake could remain in an active condition while running because of possible seepage of water, Kiuchi said. There were eight complaints reported between July 2005 and August 2006, but no one was injured, Kiuchi said.