Sat, Jul 15, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Hotai announces recall of Lexus RX300 SUVs

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hotai Motor Co (和泰汽車), the nation's largest automaker and also a distributer of Toyota and Lexus models, has announced a recall of Lexus RX300 sports and utility vehicles to repair a faulty component.

The potential problem is that a clip could come loose and allow a small trim piece of the console, located on the center-left side of the front compartment, to interfere with the operation of the gas pedal.

Toyota Motor Corp has received seven complaints and two reports of accidents in the US. In the US, the recall involves a range of vehicles including the 2004-05 models of the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX 330 and early 2006 models of the Highlander hybrid SUV and the RX 400h, as well as the hybrid version of the RX 330.

In Taiwan, Hotai said that 8,220 units of the RX300 would be affected by the recall.

Owners here are expected to be notified of the recall by the end of the month, and their car dealers will offer maintenance services and install new clips for free, starting from Aug. 1, according to Hotai.

Hotai said that it is able to reclaim losses from Toyota, therefore the recall move will not affect its profitability.

Hotai sold a total of 56,893 cars during the first six months of the year, a 27 percent dip from a year earlier, amid the weak market sentiment that affected all auto makers.

But the company still maintained a its market lead with a share of 27.5 percent, compared to No. 2 player China Motor Corp (中華汽車) at 17 percent, according to government data.

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