Toyota to Recall 1.53 Million Cars for Fluid Leak

Toyota Motor Corp.’s recall of 1.53 million cars and light trucks worldwide for a flaw linked to brake-fluid leaks boosts the company’s tally of U.S. vehicles requiring repairs to more than 5 million this year.

Toyota said today it will fix 740,000 vehicles in the U.S. and 599,029 in Japan with rubber seals at risk of allowing leaks. U.S. models affected include Avalon sedans, Highlander sport-utility vehicles and Lexus GS 300, IS 250 and IS 350 luxury cars. The Toyota City, Japan-based company has announced recalls covering 5.4 million U.S. autos this year.

“They seem to know they must be very open about this to restore customer confidence,” said Ian Fletcher, an analyst at IHS Automotive in London. “They can’t afford anymore to have the massive political trial they had in the U.S.”

The announcement comes as Toyota, the world’s biggest carmaker, works to regain market share and customers’ trust after recalling more than 10 million autos globally in the past year, including about 8 million for defects linked to unintended acceleration. To catch defects earlier, Toyota has slowed its vehicle-development process, added engineers in the U.S. and Japan and assigned teams to scrutinize parts designs and suppliers’ operations.