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Auto Club Updates Consumers on Ford Inquiry, Toyota Recalls

(LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2011) – In the past few days, news reports have carried some auto manufacturer safety-related stories.  The Automobile Club of Southern California rounds them up for motorists:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said this week that they’ve received four complaints about wheel studs on the 2010 Ford Motor Co. Fusion and that the agency will open a preliminary investigation into a potential problem with the vehicle. 
The sedan was a big seller for Ford last year and gave the auto manufacturer a better financial footing and stability.
All four complaints about fractures of wheel studs involve screws that secure a wheel to a vehicle held by lug nuts on cars.  The four vehicles had low mileage, about 5,000-11,000 miles, according to the NHTSA office of defect investigations.  A fracture in this wheel part may cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle.  The investigation could affect approximately 281,250 of last year’s Fusions, NHTSA said. For more information, consumers may call NHTSA’s safety hotline 1-888-327-4236 or file an online safety complaint with NHTSA
The world’s largest auto manufacturer, Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving 245,000 of the 2006 through 2007 Lexus GS300/350, 2006 through early 2009 Lexus IS250, and 2006 through early 2008 Lexus IS350 vehicles sold in the U.S. to inspect the fuel pressure sensor installation.
Toyota said it its press statement that the pressure sensor could loosen over time.  If loosening occurs, fuel could leak past a gasket used in the connection between the sensor and the delivery pipe and through the threaded portion of the sensor, the manufacturer said. 
According to its press statement, Lexus dealers will inspect the vehicle, at no charge to the owner, for fuel leaks and will tighten the fuel pressure sensor.  If a fuel leak is found, the gasket between the sensor and the delivery pipe will be replaced and the sensor will be tightened.
Owners of these vehicles will receive a safety recall notice by U.S. mail once the parts that may be needed have been obtained.  This recall is Toyota’s largest since last fall.  Since Sept. 2009 Toyota recalled more than 18 million vehicles for problems that included sticky gas pedals, and defective floor mats that were associated with unintended acceleration for several of its models.
Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center in Diamond Bar, reminds motorists that all recalls should be taken seriously.  As soon as you receive a recall notice, the repairs should be done as expeditiously as possible to help insure your safety and the safety of your loved ones.
Drivers may find information regarding Toyota’s recalls at, call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331, or the Lexus Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-255-3987.  Information is also available at and      
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The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.