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Toyota recalling another 
2.17 million vehicles

DETROIT — Floor mats and accelerators continue to plague Toyota.

Toyota said on Thursday that it was recalling another 2.17 million vehicles to fix problems that could cause their accelerator pedals to become stuck, a setback in its efforts to rebound from the uncertainty that swirled around the automaker last year.

Toyota initiated two new recalls on Thursday, covering about 769,000 sport utility vehicles and 20,000 Lexus sedans, and added nearly 1.4 million vehicles to its November 2009 recall related to what Toyota called “floor mat entrapment.”

Since 2009, Toyota has recalled more than 14 million vehicles globally, with most connected to the floor-mat issue or a defect in the design of the accelerator pedal.

The affected models are the 2004-6 Toyota Highlander, the 2004-7 Lexus RX, the 2006-7 Lexus GS, the 2003-9 Toyota 4Runner, the 2008-11 Lexus LX 570, and the 2006-10 Toyota Rav4.

New kidney transplant policy would favor younger patients

Younger patients would be more likely than older ones to get the best kidneys under a proposal being considered by the nation’s organ transplant network.

The new policy would replace the current first-come-first-served system and is intended to provide better matches between the life expectancies of recipients and the functional life of donated kidneys.

“Right now, if you’re 77 years old and you’re offered an 18-year-old’s kidney, you get it,” said Dr. Richard N. Formica, a transplant physician at Yale University and a member of the panel that wrote the proposed policy. “The problem is that you’ll die with that kidney still functioning, while a 30-year-old could have gotten that kidney and lived with it to see his kids graduate from college.”

Under the proposal, patients and kidneys would each be graded, and the healthiest and youngest 20 percent of patients and kidneys would be segregated into a separate pool so that the best kidneys would be given to patients with the longest life expectancies. The remaining 80 percent of patients would be put into a pool from which the network that arranges for organ matches, called the United Network for Organ Sharing, would try to ensure that the age difference between kidney donors and recipients was no more than 15 years.

Wall Street wanders as 
oil prices ease down

The volatility of crude oil prices still dominated investors’ concerns Thursday as they assessed how the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa could affect the global economic recovery.

Weeks of protests have unseated governments in Tunisia and Egypt. In Libya, anti-government fighting has magnified a potential shortfall of the oil supply for global markets while sending prices higher.

“The markets have been reflecting the increased uncertainty in the Middle East, and we will probably see that volatility for a while,” Brian M. Youngberg, an energy analyst for Edward Jones, said.

After jumping above $100 a barrel early Thursday, spot oil prices settled down 82 cents at $97.28 in New York trading. In London, the April Brent crude futures contract gained 24 cents a barrel to $111.49 after hitting $119.79, the highest since mid-2008.