The Toyota Motor Company is recalling almost 423,000 Lexus vehicles dues to a possible fuel leak that increases the risk of fire, reported Reuters. The affected vehicles are Lexus LS models from 2007 to 2010 and Lexus GS and IS models from 2006 to 2011.
According to the report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fuel pipe seal can become degraded in these vehicles. This can lead to leaking near the ignition source, which could ignite a fire.
Though there have been no official reports of fires or injuries related to the recall, research blog Zacks Equity Research reported Toyota knew about the issue as early as June of 2010, when a complaint was made about gasoline odors coming from a customer's engine.
However, a handful of consumers spoke with various news source and said they complained in the past, some earlier than 2010.
Fires before the recall
Consumer Affairs was one of these sources, and reported on several incidents of Lexus fires, one that happened to a Lexus owner named Geraldine.
"My 2002 Lexus caught on fire while I was driving on the freeway," Geraldine said. "The fire department said it was the fuel injection that caused the fire. Lexus service are the only people that have worked on my car and the only people that even lifted my hood. They will take no responsibility regarding this loss."
The news report stated the recall asked for consumers to file complaints beginning in December and bring their vehicles in to be repaired. Geraldine worries she won't be entitled to the repair because her Lexus caught fire in 2005.
The news source also noted the problem is happening in models not included in the recall. A woman who was named only "A" in the report said she filed a complaint in 2008 when her 1996 Lexus GS300 caught fire in the driveway shortly after being driven.
"We both got away form it and watched it totally burn up," A said.