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Toyota recalls 4,000 Tacoma pickups in US for defective part March Featured Vehicle of the Month - 2012 Toyota Tacoma. (PRNewsFoto/ THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED BY PRNewsfoto and is fo...
A 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup. Toyota has recalled 33,000 vehicles worldwide including some 4,000 4-cylinder Tacoma trucks in the United States. All the recalled vehicles were built this year.Anonymous / PR NEWSWIRE

Toyota said on Thursday it is recalling 33,000 cars, pickup trucks and commercial vehicles worldwide to replace a defective part that may cause engine failure.

Most of the recalled models are in Japan, Toyota spokesman John Hanson said, but the recall includes about 4,000 four-cylinder Tacoma pickup trucks in the United States.

The vehicles, which were all built this year, have engine valve springs that may develop cracks and break over time. This could lead to noisy, rough engine performance and, in some cases, the engine could stop while the vehicle is in motion.

The problem arose because the equipment used to make the part was not properly maintained, Toyota said in a press release. The engine valve spring was built by Japanese company Chuo Spring Co Ltd, Hanson said.

Other models affected by Toyota's global recall include the Land Cruiser Prado mid-size SUV and several larger vehicles. 

In September, Toyota recalled nearly 800,000 hybrid sedans and cross-overs to fix a suspension problem that persists even after being fixed after a recall last year. 

The two vehicles covered by that service action were the 2010 Lexus HS250 hybrid and the 2006 through 2011 Toyota RAV4 crossover, the latter one of the maker’s most popular models.

Toyota found that a fix put in place in August 2012 did not solve the problem.

The original problem involved a wobbling rear suspension arm that could, over time, rust. That could lead to a suspension failure and, in a worst-case scenario, a crash. Toyota has since discovered that the nuts it used to adjust the alignment of the rear wheels on the two vehicles during the August 2012 recall were not tightened properly.