WASHINGTON (AP) – Toyota Motor Co. is recalling 34,437 Sienna minivans because the fuel tank is prone to damage and could cause a fire, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday.

The recall covers minivans from the 2004 model year that were sold to the public starting in January.

According to NHTSA, a part of the Sienna’s fuel tank was damaged during severe crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A fire could result if fuel leaked from the damaged tank.

Toyota said there have been no injuries or fires related to the defect. The company began producing a new fuel tank as soon as it discovered the problem in July, said Toyota spokesman John Hanson.

Dealers will replace the fuel tank for free.

Owners are scheduled to be notified of the recall later this month.

On the Net:

NHTSA, http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov

Toyota, http://www.toyota.com

AP-ES-08-15-03 1452EDT

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