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(Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) is recalling about 160,000 Tacoma mid-size pickup trucks from the model years 2001 to 2004 in cold-weather U.S. states and in Canada because the spare tire could fall off.
The spare tire in these Tacoma models is stored beneath the trucks' bed. When the trucks were made, the metal plate that keeps the spare tire in place was not coated with sufficient amounts of phosphate to retard rust, Toyota said.
Two accidents have been reported to Toyota involving vehicles following a Tacoma truck, but they did not result in injuries, a Toyota spokesman said.
Over time and in limited cases, corrosion of the plate could cause it to break, causing the detachment of the spare tire, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. said in a statement on Wednesday.
The recall covers 150,000 trucks originally sold in 20 cold-weather U.S. states and 10,000 trucks in Canada, Toyota said.
Letters will go to the owners of the recalled vehicles in December, Toyota said.
Toyota dealers will replace the spare tire assembly, if necessary, without charge to Tacoma owners.
Reporting By Bernie Woodall; Editing by Bernard Orr and Leslie Adler