Lexus has announced that it have discovered that there might be the possibility of improperly functioning valve springs in some Lexus engines, which might result in abnormal engine noise or unstable idling, or in the worst case scenario, an engine stopping as a result. These improperly functioning valve springs can be found in the UK market in the GS 450h, GS 460, LS 460 and LS 600h models.
Internationally, they affect the Lexus LS460, Lexus LS600h, Lexus LS600hL, Lexus GS350, Lexus GS450h, Lexus GS460 and Lexus IS350 and the Toyota Crown. Lexus says that they are currently preparing a field action which I am guessing is most likely a recall to inspect and replace parts if necessary.
Lexus Malaysia has not issued any statements so far. The LS 460 is sold here in Malaysia, and our Malaysian model might be affected. All the other affected models are not on sale here in Malaysia. Our GS is the GS 300, which uses a 3.0 litre V6 engine, while the GS 450h uses a 3.5 litre V6 in its hybrid powertrain. But I wonder if the 3.0 engine is also affected since the problem doesn’t seem to be contained to one particular type of engine – there are both V6 and V8 engines in the affected list.
A quick search online revealed that this valve spring problem has been known for quite some time now but replacement has been on a case by case basis. According to a post by forum member Mike_TX in the Club Lexus forums, “in late 2007/early 2008, one of the robots was found to be out of adjustment, such that when it installed the spring, it scraped it and caused a “score” mark on it. That small score mark created a weak point that can cause a failure of the spring after thousands of cycles.”
We will update with any new news as soon as we can. Lexus Malaysia has demonstrated in the past that it will definitely issue swift recalls – the Malaysian distributor recently recalled the LS for problems in the VGRS steering system.