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Toyota recalls 369,000 vehicles in Japan, US, Europe

Wednesday, 4 Sep 2013 | 11:37 AM ET
The Lexus RX400H Hybrid
Source: Toyota Motors | Lexus
The Lexus RX400H Hybrid

Toyota Motor said it is recalling around 200,000 hybrid SUVs globally including the Lexus RX400h, due to a glitch in the hybrid system's inverter.

The Japanese carmaker also said on Wednesday it was separately recalling around 169,000 vehicles including the Lexus GS350 and IS350 due to a problem in the engine assembly process.

No accidents or injuries have been reported in both cases, Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada said.

Due to the hybrid system inverter problem, Toyota is recalling around 141,000 vehicles in North America, 37,000 vehicles in Europe and 15,000 vehicles in Japan.

The recall affects Lexus RX400h SUVs made between March 2005 and June 2011, and Highlander SUVs manufactured between February 2005 and May 2007. Lexus is Toyota's luxury brand.

(Read more: Toyota recalls over 340,000 compact Tacoma pickups)

Transistors used in the hybrids' inverters could experience heat damage that could force the vehicles to stop, Toyota said in a statement.

Toyota will replace a module inside the inverter, which will take three to four hours, Yamada said.

US Toyota August sales up 22.8%
CNBC's Phil LeBeau reports Toyota's August sales numbers, which were up 22.8 percent, much higher than expected.

Separately, due to a glitch in the engine assembly process, Toyota is recalling the Lexus GS350, made between July 2005 and July 2011, Lexus IS350 manufactured between August 2005 and June 2011, and Lexus IS350C produced between June 2010 and July 2011.

In this case, Toyota is recalling around 106,000 vehicles in North America and 59,000 in Japan. In Japan, Toyota is also recalling certain Crown and Mark X vehicles.

In the engine, bolts used to secure a device called the variable-valve timing system, which controls camshafts, could become loose. That increases crash risks as it could lead to engine stoppage, Toyota said.

(Read more: Toyota raises profit forecast, boosted by weak yen, strong US sales)

Toyota will replace the variable-valve timing system, which will take more than six hours, Yamada said.

She declined to comment on how much the recalls will cost.

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