Toyota has recalled 54,217 vehicles in Japan because of the possibility they could catch fire if left parked with the engine running.

The Kyodo News agency said two models were affected, including the Toyota Harrier sport utility vehicle - which was sold in export markets worldwide as the Lexus RX300

The vehicles have a defect that can cause the engine's computer control system to operate incorrectly and possibly catch fire, Kyodo reported.

So far there have been two reported cases of fires in Japan, both happening in cars left parked with the engine running, though no one was injured, Kyodo said.

The recalled models were produced between December 1997 and November 2000 but it was unclear were sold, according to the report.

Toyota GB spokesman David Crouch told just-auto that the UK sales unit had not yet received any information on whether or not the recall would affect exported models but was investigating.

"There is a slim chance models imported privately into the UK may be affected but it is likely to be some time before we are notified," he noted.

Crouch noted that the Harriers affected were early first-generation models.

The kuxury SUV, as the Lexus RX300, was not launched in the UK until 2001 with the second generation following in 2003.

Sales in the US - the biggest Lexus market - began during the 1999 model year.