Toyota announces largest recall in history, 1.6 million cars with brake issues

Michael James

Recalled plagued Toyota Motor Corp. has announced its latest and largest recall to date, this time 1.66 million Avalon and other vehicles, including Lexus models, for brake cylinder issues.

The new recall includes the 2005 and 2006 Avalon sedan, 2004 through 2006 Highlander (the non-Hybrid model) and Lexus RX330 crossovers, and the 2006 Lexus GS300, IS250, and IS350 sedans.

Additionally, the latest recall, mostly in Japan and the United States, comes less than two months after a recall in Canada and the United States of 1.3 million Corolla and Matrix cars. In that instance, the vehicle had defective engine control modules that could cause the vehicles to stall.

The vehicle’s brake master cylinders can leak small amounts of fluid, resulting in the brake warning lamp coming on. If the brake warning lamp is illuminated and the owner continues to drive the vehicle without refilling the fluid, the brakes may begin to feel soft or spongy and overall braking performance may gradually decline.

Toyota has now recalled more than 11 million vehicles in the past year, mostly for unintended acceleration.

In the latest announcement, Toyota said it would recall 740,000 Avalon, Highlander, Lexus GS300, IS250 and IS350 cars in the United States.

In Japan, Toyota is recalling about 600,000 vehicles spanning 11 models including the high-end Crown sedan, either for the master cylinder seal or defective fuel pump wiring or both. It is recalling 60,000 vehicles in China.

Toyota will decide whether to file an official recall in other markets in line with safety regulations in each market. The cars subject to those repairs — totaling 1.53 million — are sold worldwide, including in Europe, South America, Africa and Oceania.

In a separate case, Toyota said it was recalling 134,000 Crown and Reiz sedans in China to fix a faulty component in the rear disk brakes that could rust and affect the cars’ braking performance.

No accidents were reported from the defects, Toyota said. The manufacturer said it will contact owners by mail beginning in early November.

Toyota and Lexus dealers will replace the brake master cylinder cup free of charge.

Article Last Updated: September 5, 2013.

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