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NHTSA 12-98
March 11, 1998 Contact: Tim Hurd

Tel. No. (202) 366-9550
Toyota Motor Company, Limited  Models:
Lexus LS400 Years: 1995-1997
Lexus SC400 Years: 1996-1997
Number Involved: 47,525
Dates of Manufacture: April 1995 - June 1997
NHTSA Recall No.: 98V016

Vehicle Description: Passenger vehicles.

Description of Defect: Due to improper assembly of the terminal for the starter motor magnetic switch, an electrical short circuit can occur if electrically-conductive liquid, such as road splash with deicing salt, enters this area.

Consequence of Defect: A starter motor no-start condition or an underhood fire can result.

Corrective Action: Dealers will repair the magnetic switch.

Owner Notification: Owner notification began Feb. 9, 1998.

Note: Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

NHTSA said manufacturers are required to mail a recall notice to all purchasers, owners and dealers when a safety defect or noncompliance with Federal safety standards is found. The agency urges owners to wait until they receive notification from the manufacturer before contacting their dealers to schedule the repair work. Not all vehicles of a particular make and model may be subject to the recall.