Damaged Toyota sign on NASCAR body

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.