It looks like it’s still recall season for Toyota, who have just announced that it will be recalling 1.53 million Lexus, Toyota Avalon, and other models for issues related to brakes and fuel pumps. Of all the cars affected, 740,000 are in the US and 599,000 are in Japan, while the rest are scattered around Europe and other world markets.
The brake problem is with the brake master cylinder, which could lead to weaker braking power. A small amount of brake fluid can slowly leak from the master cylinder, resulting in an illumination of the brake warning lamp. If left unfixed, the driver will begin to notice a spongy or soft brake pedal feel, with the car’s ability to slow the vehicle down gradually deteriorating subsequently. Apparently Toyota claims it’s not all their fault though – they say the problem is caused by the use of non-Toyota brake fluid. The company claims their Toyota-branded brake fluid contains lubricating polymers that prevent the problem.
The problem with the fuel pump is an electrical fault can lead to the engine stalling, which affects mostly models sold in Japan. It involves a connector within the fuel tank, which can move, causing it to wear.
Models affected in the US are the 2005-2006 Toyota Avalon, the 2004-2006 Toyota Highlander, the 2004-2006 Lexus RX330, the 2006 Lexus GS300, and the 2006 Lexus IS250 and IS350. Models affected in Japan include the Toyota Crown, the Toyota Crown Majesta, the Toyota Harrier, the Toyota Mark X, the Toyota Alphard, the Toyota Kluger, the Lexus GS350, the Lexus IS250, and the Lexus IS350, all various models produced between May 2002 and November 2005.
In Japan, only the GS350 and the Crown are affected by both problems while the other models are affected only by one of the problems. A lot of the cars above are sold in Malaysia via grey importers, so the fuel pump problem may be a cause for concern – better get your brake master cylinder and your fuel pump connectors checked.