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TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it was recalling 397,263 subcompact and minicar vehicles exported to the United States, Europe and Canada because of improperly designed brake fluid pipes.

An improper design of the rear brake pipe may cause brake fluid to leak when its exterior is scratched by ice stuck inside the rear wheel while driving on a snowy road, a Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada said. She said the problem surfaced when a fluid leak was reported by a user in northern Europe.

The company has received no reports of related accidents, Yamada said.

The recall affects 165,897 subcompact Yaris, manufactured from October 2000 to April this year and exported to Britain and other European markets, as well as 48,568 Echo minicars, made between July 2001 and April this year and sold in the United States and Canada.

Toyota is also recalling Will Vi, Funcargo, bB minicar models, all produced from October 2000 through April 2002.

Separately, the company recalled 24,279 trucks, produced September 1999 and June this year and sold domestically, because of a faulty steering wheel, Yamada said.
 

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GM Recalls Finger-Pinching Full-Size SUVs [9/30/02]
General Motors is voluntarily recalling about 597,000 model year 2000-2002 Chevrolet Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade, and GMC Yukon and Denali sport/utility vehicles to help protect customers from pinching their fingers in a seat. Not included in this recall are Chevrolet Suburbans and Avalanches, Cadillac Escalade EXTs and GMC Yukon XLs.

The vehicles, built between September 1999 and February 2002, have a mechanical head restraint designed to fold when the second-row seats are moved from their upright to stowed position. Fourteen people, including 10 children, have pinched their fingers by inadvertently inserting them through the slot in the upholstery when the headrest was being folded down.

While the head restraints in these vehicles provide all of the occupant protection for which they were designed, GM will install plastic shields over each head restraint mechanism to provide additional protection when the headrests are being folded down.

Owners of these vehicles will be notified of this recall and provided instructions for repair of their vehicles. Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC dealers will perform the repair free of charge.
 
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