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Toyoya recalls minivans after shifting issue surfaces

2009 Toyota Sienna
Source: Toyota Motors

Toyota Motor's U.S. unit said on Thursday it is recalling about 694,000 Sienna minivans in North America due to a shift lever problem.

Toyota USA said that because of possible damage to the shift lock solenoid installed in vehicles involved in the recall, the minivans could shift out of "park" and roll away without the driver depressing the brake pedal.

The vehicles were made at Toyota's plant in Indiana. The Siennas are from model years 2007 to 2009 and from 2004 to 2005.

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Most of the recalled vehicles, about 615,000, are in the United States. About 56,000 of the recalled minivans are registered in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico, 300 in Germany and 10 in Guatemala.

Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight said Toyota has received reports of 21 "minor" accidents in the United States and three minor accidents in Canada. Two of the incidents involved what Toyota called minor injuries, such as bruises.

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Sienna is the second-best-selling minivan in the U.S. market, behind the Dodge Caravan made by Chrysler, an affiliate of Fiat SpA. Sienna's sales through August were up 5 percent from a year earlier at 86,459 and Caravan's sales were down 15 percent at 94,639, according to Autodata Corp.

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-By Reuters