Lexus Confirms Engine Recall


Lexus GS 350 Engine

Toyota has announced that there will be a recall on 270,000 Lexus (and one model Toyota) worldwide — from The New York Times:

Toyota will recall a total of 90,000 Lexus and Crown sedans in Japan, and is “making preparations to take similar, appropriate actions” for 180,000 more cars that carry the same engine worldwide, said Paul Nolasco, a spokesman for the automaker in Tokyo.

A defective engine part in the affected vehicles could cause unstable idling and cause the engine to stall, Mr. Nolasco said. He said that he was unsure how many of the 180,000 cars were sold in the United States. Toyota will outline details of the 90,000 cars recalled in Japan on Monday, he said.

Lexus USA has issued this statement which touches on what exactly caused the issue:

Lexus has discovered faulty valve springs in some V8 and V6 engines in certain Lexus models sold in the U.S. Due to slight variations during the manufacturing process, some foreign material may have contaminated the valve springs resulting in potential breakage. 
 
In such a situation, there is a remote possibility that abnormal engine noise or idling may occur.  In extremely rare instances, the engine may stop while the vehicle is in operation.

Lexus has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to this issue.

Approximately 137,000 vehicles are potentially affected in the U.S., including the IS 350, GS 350, GS 460, GS 450h, LS 460, LS 600h L.

In order to provide some perspective, here’s the total US sales of the models mentioned from their launch to the end of 2009 (2010 models are not included in the recall). Please note: Lexus does not break down sales by engine type, so unaffected cars like the IS 250, IS F & GS 430 are included in these totals:

  • 2006-2009 Lexus IS: 196,709 sold
  • 2007-2009 Lexus GS: 46,570 sold
  • 2007-2009 Lexus LS: 66,815 sold

Combined, these three models have sold 310,094 in total — Lexus mentions that approx. 137,000 of these vehicles will be recalled, or 44% of all the IS, GS & LS sold. As mentioned above, these are nothing but ballpark figures, but it appears owners of these models have roughly a 50/50 chance of being affected by the recall.

For the full Lexus press release, click through the jump.

Lexus U.S. Statement Regarding Potential Valve Spring Issue

Lexus has discovered faulty valve springs in some V8 and V6 engines in certain Lexus models sold in the U.S. Due to slight variations during the manufacturing process, some foreign material may have contaminated the valve springs resulting in potential breakage.

In such a situation, there is a remote possibility that abnormal engine noise or idling may occur. In extremely rare instances, the engine may stop while the vehicle is in operation.

Lexus has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to this issue.

Approximately 137,000 vehicles are potentially affected in the U.S., including the IS 350, GS 350, GS 460, GS 450h, LS 460, LS 600h L.

Current model years are not affected.

Lexus is moving quickly to resolve the situation and will announce an appropriate remedy as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, we sincerely apologize to our customers for any inconvenience and request that they contact their nearest Lexus dealer if they believe there is a problem with their vehicle,” said Mark Templin, group vice president and general manager of the U.S. Lexus Division.

Comments


  • http://www.RideHound.com/ RideHound

    This is not good news at all. Given the current industry climate things have been tough enough lately. It’s going to take a while for them to recover from this massive recall. I think it’s good they are doing it but very bad for their shareholders and profits will surely be hit because of this.

    Regards,

    The RideHounds
    Our Website: RideHound.com

  • DeTomaso

    Must be total panic out there at TMC.

  • RHJACKSON

    Replacing valve springs will be labor intensive. I commend Lexus for this recall. In previous years, they might have tried to handle this problem by repairing individual cars as the problem occurred. Times have changed.

  • JVX

    This explains it. I had an 08 IS250, and I noticed once in a while, my engine appears to idle strangely for a few second at a complete stop. Felt like it’s going to shutdown, but it never did though. I thought it just how it is. Thanks for bringing this up.

    On the same subject, this is not good news for the brand, recalls upon recalls. This is unlike the Lexus I have grown to admire. They need to slow down and get their quality/safety in control.

  • Eddie

    POOR TOYOTA….ALL THIS RECALL in 1 year.

  • lexusjoe

    @JVX: The recall applies to IS350’s though, not IS250’s. Its a different engine. I have a 2009, but used to have a 2007 IS250, an AWD and they had a campaign (voluntary recall) for a noise that occurred during cold start up’s. It made like a clicking or light grinding sound, then went away. Maybe THAT was what you were experiencing?

  • WorldofLuxury

    @JVX: @lexusjoe:
    Are you guys referring to the knocking, diesel-like sounds?
    I assume it has something to do with the direct-injection part of the multiport fuel injection setup. The whole engine has gained power and efficiency by mocking a diesel engine, and that’s… aha I’m just assuming :-P
    Someone please enlighten me. There doesn’t seem to be a single answer on the internet.

    And my assumption is based on the fact that a lot of direct injection vehicles have tuned quiet cars into diesel-like cars, even my friend’s new 997 when compared with his long-gone 996.

  • JVX

    @lexusjoe: @WorldOfLuxury
    Talking about a noise during cold startup, I also experience that too, in additional to the engine idling. Occasionally, when I start up my car in the morning, I get this clicking sound in the engine for 1 second and it goes away. Seems like there’s no oil in the engine, causing this scratching noise. The report says that it only occur in IS350 model only, but I think I could be also IS250. Just wonder if other IS250 owners have notice this.

  • lexusjoe

    @JVX: It IS an actual,official LEXUS campaign on IS250’s (and possibly IS350’s and other models) I had my 2007 IS250 experience this noise and it went away after the campaign fix at the service dept. I have a 2009 IS250 now and never experienced that “clicking” sound, nor is there any record of occurrences on the later models.
    In regards to the engine recall matter, I have never heard any “sounds” or extra rough idling on these affected vehicles myself, but I don’t doubt they occur.

  • jun

    My 2009 Lexus is-350, the RPM or idle is unstable up and down to (400RPM). I bring to lexus maintenance and they told me it’s normal. they don’t believe me that may car is not running good. Magnussen Lexus(fremont ca):`-(

  • Jen

    I have a 2007 Lexus IS 250 and I too have the idel issue!!! they dont know what it is and they thought it was the carbons on the engine cleaned that and it still does it, but not all the time. It doesnt do it when its in the shop and it isn’t saving any codes so I am unable to prove the issue. It did it right when I pulled away from the dealership :(

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    I suggest both @jun & @Jen (funny how two people would comment only an hour apart with only one letter different in their names!) should contact Lexus directly with their issues.

  • Gentry

    actually I have had the same problem with my 07 IS350. The car would start to idle rough and the headlights would dim when the RPM’s would drop. Shortly after that my engine stalled while pulling out from a stop and I had to have my car towed to the dealer because my car would not run. They told me the car started fine for them (after having it 5 days!!)…which is BS, now I know it was the valve spring breaking. They never told me the truth about what it was but as soon as the valve spring recall came out I knew what really happened.