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Toyota recalls 369,000 vehicles worldwide

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TOKYO -- Toyota is recalling 200,000 vehicles worldwide for a hybrid-system problem and another 169,000 vehicles for an engine bolt defect.

Toyota Motor Corp. spokeswoman Shino Yamada said Wednesday there were no accidents related to either recall.

The first recall is over an inverter in the hybrid system for the Lexus RX400 and the Highlander models overseas, and the Harrier and Kluger hybrids in Japan. Some 141,000 vehicles are being recalled in the U.S. and 15,000 in Japan.

The defect may cause an alarm to go off, and the hybrid may stop running, according to Toyota.

The second involves the Lexus GS350, IS350, Crown and Mark X models, including 106,000 vehicles in North America and 59,000 vehicles in Japan.

The bolts may loosen, causing the engine to stall, according to the automaker.

Toyota's reputation for quality was tarnished by massive global recalls that started five years ago and ultimately encompassed almost every model in its lineup and totaled more than 10 million vehicles.

The company was criticized for being reluctant to admit to quality defects and slow to initiate proper recalls. Stung by the fiasco, Toyota has since redoubled its quality control efforts to salvage its brand, particularly in the crucial U.S. market.

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