False alarm: Toyota recalls 220,000 vehicles for lying check engine light

In addition to the recalls announced by Volkswagen today, we should all tell you about a recall Toyota issued on Wednesday for check engine lights in some 60,700 Highlanders built from 2001 through 2003 and 159,100 RAV4s built in 2001 and 2002. The Malfunction Indicator, as it's called by sticklers, can light up when there's no underlying problem with the vehicle due to an issue with the software on the ECM. There have been 80 reported cases of this happening.
Of course, recalls don't exist in Toyota-land. Here they're called Special Service Campaigns, a description that must've been invented by a suit in marketing because it sounds like something fun to do, like a Jeep Jamboree or something. Nevertheless, a recall is what Toyota announced on Wednesday, even if it is for something as minor as a wonky check engine light.

Full press release can be found after the jump.

[Source: Toyota]


Toyota Announces "Check Engine" Light Special Service Campaign On Certain Toyota Highlander and RAV4 Sport Utility Vehicles

12/06/2006 Torrance, CA

December 6, 2006 - Torrance, CA - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., will launch a voluntary Special Service Campaign involving approximately 60,700 four-cylinder Highlander sport utility vehicles from the 2001 through 2003 model year and 159,100 RAV4 sport utility vehicles from the 2001 and 2002 model year. The Malfunction Indicator Light, also known as the "check engine" light, on certain RAV4 and Highlander may inadvertently illuminate due to an issue with the program logic in the Engine Control Module (ECM). This light does not affect the operation of the vehicle. The affected RAV4 and Highlander were produced from July 24, 2000 to August 22, 2003.

There have been 80 cases of this condition reported in the Highlander and RAV4. Toyota will mail to owners of the involved vehicles a Service Campaign notification via first class mail in mid-December.

Owners are requested to contact their local Toyota dealer for reprogramming of the ECM with improved logic. Reprogramming will be done at no charge to the owners of the vehicle and will take approximately 30 minutes, depending on the dealer's work schedule. No parts replacement is necessary to complete the campaign.

Customers with questions or concerns should contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

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