Toyota recalls 690,000 pickups to fix rear springs

Toyota says it is recalling 690,000 Tacoma pickup trucks because the rear leaf springs could break, puncture the gas tank and cause a fire.

The recall covers Tacoma Four-by-Four and Pre-Runner pickups from the 2005 through 2011 model years.

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The automaker says the leaf springs can fracture due to stress and corrosion. They can move out of position and come into contact with surrounding components, including the gas tank. Toyota says it's not aware of any fires, crashes or injuries from the problem.

Owners will be notified by mail and Toyota says dealers will fix the problem at no cost.

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Owners with questions can call Toyota at (800) 331-4331.

Separately, U.S. safety regulators sad they are looking into a consumer's petition alleging that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes.

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The inquiry covers about 1.69 million of the compact cars from the 2006 to 2010 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide whether to open a formal investigation.

An unidentified consumer said in a letter to the agency that a Corolla surged at low speeds several times, and the brakes failed to stop the car. The consumer said the problem caused one collision with a parked vehicle on June 8.

Investigators said they found 141 consumer complaints about the problem. No other crashes or injuries were reported.

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The consumer filed the petition on Sept. 11.

Messages were left seeking comment from Toyota.

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