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Oil Wells That End Well for Toyota?

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Detroit, MNReuters reported yesterday that Toyota will undertake repairs to nearly one million vehicles in the US that may be leaking oil. The issue is not a new one—as far back as a year ago Toyota agreed to repair a faulty oil hose in vehicles equipped with V6 engines. The problem pertains to a rubberized portion of the engine oil hose that may degrade over time, causing oil to leak and damage the engine when oil levels dip below optimum.

In 2009 Toyota quietly began repairs on more than 716,000 Camry, Avalon, Rav4 and Lexus vehicles. Two days ago Toyota expanded that campaign to encompass an additional 217,000 late model Avalon sedans and Rav4 sport utility vehicles, bringing the total to 933,800 vehicles.

Toyota indicated in a "limited safety campaign" message on March 1 that it is investigating other Toyota and Lexus vehicles for the same problem.

The vehicles have not been recalled, as Toyota does not consider the fault a safety issue. However, an oil leak and loss of oil pressure can damage an engine, leading to expensive repairs or replacements.

Such a campaign would hardly make a blip on the public consciousness, were it not for the recent massive recall of eight million vehicles for problems ranging from sudden acceleration to brake defects in many Toyota models. The world's largest car manufacturer has repeatedly come under fire for dropping the ball on safety in the pursuit of growth.

Toyota has launched an advertising campaign focusing on quality and commitment to consumers, and the company is soon to announce a major incentive package in an attempt to lure buyers back into Toyota dealerships.



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