Toyota recalls pickups
DETROIT — Toyota is recalling about 150,000 Tacoma midsize pickups because the spare tires can fall from beneath the trucks.
The recalled trucks from the 2001-04 model years were sold or registered in 20 cold-weather states and Washington, D.C.
It’s the latest in a string of safety recalls that have plagued the Japanese automaker in recent years. Earlier this month, Toyota recalled 2.77 million vehicles around the world, including the Prius hybrid and Corolla compact, for water pump and steering shaft problems. In October, the company recalled 7.43 million vehicles for faulty power-window switches that can cause fires.
On the Tacomas, a plate used to hold the spare tire under the truck bed can rust after being exposed to road salt for a long time. In some cases, the plate can break and the tire can fall to the ground, Toyota said. The plates weren’t treated properly against corrosion, the company said.
Dealers will inspect and replace the plates at no cost. The company will start notifying owners by mail in December. Customers can call Toyota at (800) 331-4331.
Spark is going electric
DETROIT — General Motors is giving its Chevrolet Spark a jolt of electricity.
An all-electric version of the minicar will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the public today. It goes on sale this summer in California, Oregon, Canada and South Korea, where it’s made. Other markets follow.
Unlike the Volt, which can run in all-electric mode but has a backup gas engine, the Spark EV is a pure electric. GM won’t say how far the car will go on a charge. The current leader, the electric Ford Focus sedan, can go 76 miles. The car will start for less than $25,000 in the U.S. when a $7,500 federal tax credit is factored in.
– Associated Press