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Embattled automaker Toyota is staring down another massive recall. The safety action affects 1.53 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles globally, with the U.S. making up around 740,000 of that total and about 600,000 units coming out of the company's home market of Japan.

Stateside, models covered under the recall may have a faulty master cylinder seal in the braking system that could leak fluid, triggering a warning lamp and/or potentially resulting in reduced braking capability. Toyota models covered under the recall include the 2005-2006 Avalon and 2004-2006 Highlander (non-hybrid only), while Lexus service bays will open their doors for 2006 model year GS, IS and RX cars and crossovers.

In all, Toyota has called back over 10 million vehicles this year, with the most recent action being the Corolla/Matrix ECU recall that covered 1.1 million cars. Thanks to everyone for the tips.

*UPDATE:
Official press release added after the jump.

Source: Reuters via Portfolio.com | Image: Rusty Jarrett/Getty for NASCAR]

Show full PR text
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

TORRANCE, Calif., October 20, 2010 – 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.

Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall or www.lexus.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-25 LEXUS or 1-800-255-3987.


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  • 53 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      We can argue that Toyota's quality is currently slipping... but notice how all the recalled cars this time are in the mid-2000's. Before that, we had Toyotas as old as 2001 being recalled.

      Now I'm seriously wondering why there are so many recalls of old cars from Toyota. It really gives me the impression that Toyota tried to hide recalls - which can cause a far severe damage than the January recalls to the brand...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Recalls, especially recalls reported in the media, aren't really indicative of quality. For example, every year Toyota's problems per vehicle has been decreasing according to JDPower and they remain at the top for reliability. And every year they also have a dozen recalls. The point is that GM, Chrysler, etc have like 3x that amount, and do far worse in terms of problems per vehicle on JDPower or even CR (I know CR is hated around here). Without the huge pedal/floormat recalls, which we now know were pointless and use to appease the US government, Toyota's recall count would've still been low last year. This is just good material for the Toyota hate machine on AB- nothing more.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...or that it just takes quite a while for enough cases to show up to warrant a recall.

        The Windstar rear axle recall was for 1998-2003 MY vehicles...so it's not just Toyota that's recalling older vehicles.
      • 4 Years Ago
      oh boy...
      • 4 Years Ago
      So does this mean that Toyota has recalled more vehicles than Ford,GM, and Chrysler combine? I don't know what the exact numbers are but Toyota is the king of recalls.
      • 4 Years Ago
      THIS AIN'T GOOD!
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Who cares?"..... says the Toyota & Lexus owners...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love all the people calling for a "return to the glory days of Toyota in the 90s"

      You mean back when Camry's had chronic sludge problems that Toyota ignored? lol
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota embraces their new recall with a new slogan: YOU WILL REMAIN MOVING FORWARD
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mediocre styling, mediocre performance, massive quality recalls.... what is the point of purchasing a Toyota over any other brand at this point? Sure all makes have recalls, but that's not the point. At least the other makes who have recalls aren't bland, boring and overpriced as well. I guess 1 million dollars an hour spent on safety doesn't buy you much.
        • 4 Years Ago
        LMAO! You hit the nail on the head man!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Interesting photo credit. Is Rusty Jarrett related to Ned & Dale Jarrett?
      • 4 Years Ago
      So where's the information about the fuel pump recall? Autoblog? Bueller? Anyone? I swear, sometimes I think a high school newspaper could run rings around this site.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I own a 1995 Toyota and they all have a master cylinder issue eventually. Also a power steering issue. What do you do? Install new parts. Its called wear and tear.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Chivo Yeah and out of the 1.53 million cars this has almost never happened. In addition it's *only* when using questionable brake fluid-if you actually look up the details it does not happen if you use the correct brake fluid spec'ed on the brake fluid fill cap, but they're doing a global recall because of a Japanese regulation where you can't have a car leak brake fluid at all, even if people do stupid crap like fill it with some bizarre brake fluid. Go figure.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yours is a '95. Wear and tear is should not cause you to have to replace the master cylinder within 5 years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      These numbers are just figures that show that Toyota did sell alot of cars in he past 10 years. If a brand that cannot sell.. even if they recall all the cars they made.. would only be a couple of thousands...

      When a company like Toyota, GM, Ford, Chrysler who sells millions of cars... once they recall something.. of course it will be in the millions.

      Think of Porsche recalling 10 millions cars... is that even possible?

      Cheers
        • 4 Years Ago
        but not every other week, Mr. Holmes
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