Toyota has announced it will be recalling almost 750,000 vehicles in the United States because of leaky brake fluid lines that could lead to loss of stopping power. Toyota suspects that the brake fluid used during maintenance may have not had enough polymers as “Toyota genuine brake fluid”, which may have lead to the seals drying out. That leakage will cause the brake warning light to illuminate.

The models affected by this recall are:

  • 2005–6 Avalon
  • 2004–6 Highlander (non hybrid)
  • Lexus RX 330
  • 2006 Lexus GS 300
  • IS 250
  • IS 350

Toyota will begin sending out letters to owners urging them to schedule an appointment with a local dealer who will replace the seal at no charge to the owner. Owners wanting more information can call Toyota at (800-331-4331) or Lexus at (800-255-3987).

Last Wednesday Toyota announced it would be recalling some 2009-2010 Lexus LS 460 and LS 600h luxury sedans in the United States and Japan because of the steering wheels ability to fall out of alignment. On Monday, Toyota announced a stop sales on these vehicles. The sales stoppage and recall cover cars equipped with the company’s variable gear ratio steering system that’s an option on the LS 460 and standard on the LS 600h.

The Lexus sales stoppage is expected to last a while since Toyota does not have a solution to the problem yet but will send out official notice of the recall in the mail next month. Toyota expects it will have a remedy for the problem before the end of June. In the meantime, Toyota is not advising LS owners to park their cars. Lexus believes that the involved vehicles are safe to drive. “In some cases the steering wheel can be 90 degrees out of alignment with the wheels of the car,” Lyons said. “But the problem has only been reported in instances of a very tight and very quick turns.” In all reported cases, he said, the steering wheel realigned itself after about 5 seconds of driving straight.

Toyota announced Wednesday that it will be recalling almost 4,500 Lexus LS luxury sedans in the United States and 7,000 in Japan. The complaint comes from consumers who say that the steering wheel came out of alignment with the direction of the car’s wheels during certain driving maneuvers.

The problem involves the computerized system that oversees how the steering wheel controls the tires. The steering system comes standard in Japanese models, but is optional in other countries. It varies the amount that the steering wheel turns the tires, allowing drivers to turn the wheel less at low speeds when attempting to navigate or park in tight spots and providing finer control at high speeds. The system can take “a few seconds” to return the steering to normal after it has been adjusted, which led to complaints from drivers, said Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco.

There have been 12 complaints out of Japan but no accidents reported because of the problem.

Consumer Reports magazine is lifting their “Don’t Buy” recommendation for the 2010 Lexus GX460 after dealerships updated the electronic stability control software.

In April, Toyota recalled about 10,000 of the Lexus SUVs and stopped selling them after Consumer Reports testers went into a sideways skid during a high speed turn on the magazines test track. Under normal circumstances, the electronic stability control should quickly correct the loss of control and keep the SUV on its intended path. But with the GX 460, the stability control took too long to react, the magazine’s engineers said.

While the fix made the GX 460’s handling secure, Consumer Reports said it is still “ponderous and ungainly,” which is typical of SUVs. Crossover vehicles are probably a better choice since they are built on car underpinnings, and they are smaller, so you get better gas mileage.

The Consumer Reports warning not to purchase the Lexus GX 460 SUV is just another blow to Toyota questioning their vehicles safety. It seems that Toyota has learned from their unintended acceleration recall, because they are not only looking into the GX 460 problem, but they will be testing their entire SUV lineup of Toyota and Lexus. Popular models such as the RAV4, 4Runner, and the Highlander will all be scrutinized, said Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons. The automaker will be testing the vehicles’ stability control and aims to replicate the Consumer Reports’ test that first uncovered the problem.

Toyota will temporarily stop the sales of their 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV, after Consumer Reports magazine recommended consumers do not buy the vehicle due to a rollover risk. Consumer Reports said that “when pushed to its limits, the rear of the Lexus GX slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the vehicle’s electronic stability-control system was able to regain control.

“We are taking the situation with the GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue.” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president. “At this time we have asked our dealers to temporarily suspend sales.” He said that Toyota was confident that the GX meets safety standards and that the automaker’s engineering teams were testing the GX using Consumer Reports’ parameters to see whether they could also detect the problem.

The government advises drivers of the vehicle to use caution, and avoid excessive speed and aggressive maneuvering in order to maintain control of their vehicles,” said Julia Piscitelli, a spokeswoman for a division of the Transportation Department.

Sept. 29, 2009, Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Toyota’s largest recall ever. The recall covers Toyota and Lexus models, including Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks, Camry, Prius, Avalon, Lexus ES and IS cars. The problem allegedly caused more than a dozen fatalities and resulted in more than 100 formal complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The action addresses the unintended acceleration of some vehicles, which Toyota previously blamed on floor mats becoming trapped between the drivers’ feet and the gas pedal. Toyota continues to ask owners of the recalled vehicles to remove driver’s side floor mats until the company provides additional information.

Toyota Motor Corp. Dealers will begin repairs in January by shortening the gas pedals as a temporary measure. Replacement pedals and a new brake system should be available in April 2010 on some of 3.8 million vehicles recalled.

For 2005 through 2010 model year Toyota Avalons, 2007 through 2010 Camry and Lexus ES350, the automaker will reconfigure the floor surface beneath the pedal to create more space between the pedal and the floor. The brake over-ride system that will be offered on the Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES and IS models should ensure the car stops if both the accelerator and brake pedals are applied at the same time. Many of the reported incidents involved sudden increases in speed when the cruise control system is engaged. Drivers have reported that their brakes could not stop their vehicles when they experienced the phenomenon.

Toyota intends to make the brake over-ride feature standard throughout the Toyota and Lexus product lines beginning in January 2010.

2004 Lexus LS 430- Transmission Problem – On some vehicles when the accelerator is quickly pressed, a small piece of metal may separate and become caught in the parking lock mechanism. This can cause the parking lock mechanism to not work when in the park position and can increase vehicle roll away. This can result in a crash. Please call your Lexus dealership immediately to schedule an appointment.

Do you think the Lexus you are driving may be a lemon? Call the California Lemon Law Firm. Delsack and Associates for a Free consultation. Call toll free 888-395-3666 (888-Ex-Lemon).