Toyota Motor Corp.announced three separate recalls totalling 1.5 million vehicles, including 740,000 in the U.S., on concerns that brake-fluid leaks eventually could hinder brake performance. This recall comes after the announcement Wednesday that the company’s internal investigation of sudden-acceleration problems that led to massive recalls has produced no evidence of problems with engine electronics. This latest recall involves Avalon made in 2005 to 2006, nonhybrid Highlanders from 2004 to 2006 and several Lexus models. Another 600,898 vehicles were recalled in Japan and about 200,000 in China. Toyota said brake fluid used during maintenance may not contain enough of certain lubricants used in their manufacturing process, which ultimately may result in leaks that eventually could result in a spongy or soft brake pedal feel and a potential decline in braking performance. About two weeks ago Toyota said it had completed repairs on more than five million vehicles for three major recalls announced in late 2009 and early 2010 in the U.S. involving unintended acceleration and braking issues.
Toyota’s Recall Announcement:
Toyota Announces Intent to Voluntarily Recall Certain Toyota Avalon and Highlander, and Lexus GS300, IS250, and IS350 Vehicles to Replace a Brake Master Cylinder Seal
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced that it will conduct a voluntary Safety Recall involving approximately 740,000 – 2005 through 2006 Avalon, 2004 through 2006 Highlander (non Hybrid) and Lexus RX330, and 2006 Lexus GS300, IS250, and IS350 vehicles sold in the United States to address the possibility that a small amount of the brake fluid could slowly leak from the brake master cylinder, resulting in illumination of the brake warning lamp. This action follows an announcement made by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan on October 21, 2010 (Japan). The Toyota genuine brake fluid used during vehicle assembly for vehicles sold in the United States contains polymers. The polymers act as lubricants for certain brake system components. If during vehicle maintenance, brake fluid is used that does not contain such polymers or only small amounts, a part of the internal rubber seal (brake master cylinder cup) located at the end of the brake master cylinder piston may become dry and may curl during movement of the piston. If this occurs, a small amount of the brake fluid could slowly leak from the brake master cylinder into the brake booster, resulting in illumination of the brake warning lamp. If the brake warning lamp has illuminated and the vehicle continues to be operated without refilling the master cylinder brake fluid reservoir, the driver will begin to notice a spongy or soft brake pedal feel and braking performance may gradually decline.
Owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail beginning in early November 2010. Toyota and Lexus dealers will replace the brake master cylinder cup with a newly designed one at no charge to the vehicle owners.