The curse is not over yet for Toyota! This time it’s their luxury brand Lexus which is facing issues with their hybrid sedan, the HS250h. Recently NHTSA tested the car and during the rear-end collision test in which the vehicle was struck by a barrier moving at around 50mph, the amount of fuel spillage from the tank was way beyond the standard. Needless to say this fuel leakage may result in fire in an accident. So Lexus issued a voluntary safety recall of potentially 17,000 2010 model year Lexus HS 250h, and stopped delivery of the car.
As part of its annual compliance testing program, the NHTSA recently conducted a test of the 2010 model year HS 250h. The test involved striking the vehicle with a deformable barrier from the rear at approximately 50 mph. The vehicle is struck by a moving deformable barrier with a 70 percent overlap. As part of the test, the vehicle was then rotated on its longitudinal axis incrementally to each successive increment of 90 degrees. During the rotation, the vehicle exhibited fuel spillage that exceeded the requirement in the standard.
During vehicle development, Lexus tested the HS 250h using the same protocol and found the vehicles to comply fully with the FMVSS 301. Lexus is currently working to identify the reason for the different test results and the cause of this noncompliance.
“Even though our own testing of the Lexus HS 250h shows full compliance with federal fuel system integrity standards, we are working intensely to duplicate the noncompliance issue that the NHTSA identified and to determine the reason behind the different test results,” said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America.
At the present time, Lexus has not identified a remedy to address this issue, but it is working hard to do so promptly and will notify owners as soon as one is developed. Until then, as required by federal law, dealers will not deliver any new vehicles in their inventory that are covered by this NCIR until remedied.