chief quality officer to head up regional quality control teams that have more autonomyand can contribute directly to decisions on whether recalls are required.Toyota received initial complaints about both problems five years ago, but that didn'tmean there was documentation of a pattern that would trigger a recall, Nolasco said."It takes a while to compile the evidence for a recall," Nolasco said. Once the evidence pointed to a need for a recall, the company moved immediately to announce one, he said.Analysts said the recall decision, coming just two months after the Corolla and Matrixrecall, seems to suggest that Toyota is trying to be more forthcoming about safety issues.American regulators hit Toyota with a $16.4 million fine for failing to promptly tell thegovernment about its
."Toyota's image suffered because it was slow and so it is trying to be quick with itsresponse," said Ryuichi Saito, auto analyst with Mizuho Investors Securities in Tokyo.The models affected by the latest recall in the U.S. include the 2005 and 2006 Avalon,2004 through 2006 non-hybrid Highlander and
, and 2006 Lexus GS300,IS250, and IS350 vehicles, the company said in a statement from its U.S. headquarters inTorrance, California.Toyota will notify owners around the world by mail to come for repairs at no charge, Nolasco said.Honda said it would recall certain 2005-2007 model year Acura RL sedans and HondaOdyssey minivans from the 2005 to early 2007 model year due to brake fluid leaks. Thecompany did not immediately know how many vehicles would be covered by the recall.In a letter to U.S. regulators, Toyota said it first received reports of leaking brake fluid inFebruary 2005, and found they involved aftermarket fluid that was different from theToyota fluid installed in new vehicles. Toyota attributed the problems to the fluid andchanged the rubber seals used in the brake's master cylinders to be the same as in other Toyota vehicles, it said.From 2006 to 2010, Toyota said it received reports of the problem "sporadically" andfound in all cases that the rubber seals had curled and the brake fluid was not the originalToyota fluid. After receiving more consumer reports, mostly from Japan, Toyota foundthat certain brake fluids contained only a small amount of polymers, which could causethe seal's lubrication to deteriorate, it said.More tests last summer found the amount of leakage from the brake master cylinder was"very small," it said. Even if the brake warning lamp went off, Toyota said the vehiclecould be driven for another 185 miles (300 kilometers) before a driver noticed anydifference in the brakes. If brake fluid was not added, brake performance "could begin togradually decline," it said.