Japanese car maker Toyota is planning another world wide recall, but this time is for their prestigious flagship brand Lexus.
A fault has been identified in some of their V6 and V8 engines and it’s claimed that certain models of its high end Lexus product could suddenly stall whilst being driven. If a recall takes place it would affect several models sold in Britain, including the GS450h, the LS600h and the LS600hL versions.
The problem, which seems to be with the engines valve springs, is not thought to have caused any crashes, but is another major embarrassment for Toyota, following the four million vehicle recall late in 2009 for repair of faulty accelerator pedals and a recall of 400,000 of its Prius Hybrids with braking issues in February 2010 and a recall affecting the steering on Lexus LS600h and LS460 back in May, resulting in 11,500 cars being recalled of which just 40 were in the UK.
A Toyota spokesman said the company was evaluating measures to deal with the problem, and would not say whether a recall was being considered. One report from Japan, though, claimed that tens of thousands of owners will be told to take their cars back to the dealer for repairs.
Toyota has identified the issue and is working to find a fix and hope to have a solution as soon as possible. At this point, most problems have occurred whilst the engine was idling, causing the engine to cut out, although, a Toyota spokesperson said the fault could happen whilst the vehicle is being driven.
Toyota had set its sights on rebuilding confidence in the brand and part of that was the introduction of the 5 year warranty on all new Toyota’s, introduced recently and the heavy TV and Radio campaign using the strap line “My Toyota”.
However using the words of HRH The Queen, Toyota have had an “Annus horribilis” and frankly its showing no signs of going away, as its been widely criticised for failing to respond quickly enough to concerns over its Prius braking system recall, resulting in Toyoa President Akio Toyoda making two public apologies in a single week and the US authorities hitting Toyota with a record fine of $16.4 Million for acting too slowly in recalling those vehicles.
If the reports are to be believed, Toyota are responding very quickly in this matter, so it would seem if a lesson is to be learned, they have learnt it, however clearly a lot more learning needs to be done somewhere, as these cars really shouldn’t be being produced with such faults.
In closing, we like Toyota product a lot and have run them on our leasing fleet now for over 15 years and they have performed superbly for our customers and ourselves and yes they have had these recall issues recently, but none of the cars we operate was displaying any signs of having any of the issues the recalls related to, so had we not be told, well we wouldn’t have known. It was the large numbers of cars potentially involved that made the headlines and that’s primarily because unlike the old days, where a throttle pedal for example might only fit one vehicle in the car manufacturers range, these days, that same pedal assembly is probably (or potentially) fitted to every car in a car makers line up and that means lots of cars effected. So there you have it!