WASHINGTON - Toyota is recalling 17,000 MY 2010 Lexus HS 250h vehicles because they fail to comply with a federal safety requirement for fuel systems.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fuel system problem came to light after a recent crash test. When the vehicle was rotated after the test, the amount of fuel leakage exceeded the allowable limits.
Fuel leakage poses a fire risk.
The NHTSA crash test involved striking the vehicle with a deformable barrier from the rear at approximately 50 mph. The vehicle was struck by the moving deformable barrier with a 70-percent overlap. As part of the test, the vehicle was then rotated on its longitudinal axis incrementally to each successive increment of 90 degrees. During the rotation, the vehicle exhibited fuel spillage that exceeded the requirement in the standard.
Toyota said that during vehicle development, Lexus tested the HS 250h using the same protocol and found the vehicles to comply fully with the federal standard in question. Lexus added that it is currently working to identify the reason for the different test results and the cause of this noncompliance.
"Even though our own testing of the Lexus HS 250h shows full compliance with federal fuel system integrity standards, we are working intensely to duplicate the noncompliance issue that the NHTSA identified and to determine the reason behind the different test results," said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America.
At the present time, Lexus has not identified a remedy to address this issue, but said it is "working hard to do so promptly and will notify owners as soon as one is developed."
Until then, as required by federal law, dealers will not deliver any new vehicles in their inventory that are covered by this federal safety requirement until remedied.
Owners can reach Lexus at (800) 255-3987.