Lexus Announces Voluntary Recall on 2006 GS 300, IS 250 & IS 350, 2004-2006 RX 330


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Lexus has announced a worldwide voluntary recall on the 2006 Lexus GS300, IS250 & IS350, plus the 2004-2006 RX 330 for an possible issue with brake fluid slowly leaking from the brake master cylinder — here’s the full technical explanation:

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.

Essentially, if non-Toyota-brand brake fluid has been used to top up the braking system on the listed vehicles, there’s the possibility of it leaking out through an internal seal, which in turn will activate the brake warning light on the instrument panel and would eventually lead to a loss in brake performance.

All affected owners will be contacted in November, and Lexus dealerships will replace the brake master cylinder cup with a newly designed one at no charge.

A second recall has been issued for UK & Japanese GS 300s built between September 2004 and February 2006 concerning a possible problem with the fuel pump:

Expansion and contraction of the fuel tank may stretch the fuel pump’s electrical harness. This may lead to a break in the circuit, causing the fuel pump, and so the engine, to stop without warning. Lexus knows of no reported accidents as a result of this issue.

The repair involves replacement of the fuel pump wiring harness, a job that takes about three hours. The work will be done at no cost to the customer.

Update: In my rush to post this, I missed that the 2004-2006 RX 330 is also affected by the brake master cylinder recall. Updated the post accordingly.

I’ve included the full press releases after jump for any affected owners to go over.

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.

LEXUS ANNOUNCES VOLUNTARY RECALLS IN THE UK
Lexus is launching two voluntary recalls in the UK, affecting its IS, GS and RX models. It is working with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to contact registered owners and keepers by letter to advise them of the procedure for taking their vehicle to a Lexus Centre or an Official Lexus Service Outlet for the necessary repair work to be done.

The first recall concerns the brake master cylinder fitted to IS, GS and RX models built between February 2003 and November 2005. Lexus is aware that the seal between the brake master cylinder and the brake booster may turn in its seat, causing brake fluid to leak into the brake booster. In the very unlikely event that this happens, the driver will be alerted to the problem by the low brake fluid warning light. The brakes will continue to function normally for a significant time – over 200 miles of regular driving. Lexus knows of no accidents caused by this issue.

The repair involves the replacement of a small seal and a check for any fluid contamination in the brake booster. If any contamination is found, the brake booster will be replaced. The job will take approximately two hours to complete, at no cost to the customer. Approximately 15,400 UK registered vehicles are affected by this recall.

The second recall concerns the fuel pump on GS 300 models built between September 2004 and February 2006. Expansion and contraction of the fuel tank may stretch the fuel pump’s electrical harness. This may lead to a break in the circuit, causing the fuel pump, and so the engine, to stop without warning. Lexus knows of no reported accidents as a result of this issue.

The repair involves replacement of the fuel pump wiring harness, a job that takes about three hours. The work will be done at no cost to the customer.  The recall affects 2,081 UK-registered cars.

Belinda Poole, Lexus Director, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience or concern these recalls may cause our customers. Our Lexus Centres will be liaising with our customers to carry out the recall repair procedures as promptly as possible, with all work undertaken by expertly trained Lexus service personnel.”

Comments


  • http://www.facebook.com/RDS.Alphard RDS

    Not again ! Damn !

    Please Toyota & Lexus ! Improve your Quality Control !
    I don’t wanna see more ! They hurt me badly !

  • Dan

    So, the IS-F is not on the Recall List?

  • Stephane P

    Why would Lexus issue another recall for something that “may” affect such a small number of units? Creates panic for the wrong reasons (again)! Why not a simple TSB?

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    In my rush to post this, I missed that the 2004-2006 RX 330 is also affected by the brake master cylinder recall. Updated the post accordingly.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Stephane P wrote:Why would Lexus issue another recall for something that “may” affect such a small number of units? Creates panic for the wrong reasons (again)! Why not a simple TSB?

    Well, I think it’s just a case of being proactive and informing customers — TSBs aren’t generally publicized, and the possibility that someone could be hurt due to this issue would create all kinds of trouble if a TSB was the only action.

    IMO, of course. :-)

  • Stephane P

    There have been 2 reported cases of this condition in Canada out of 15,000 so called affected vehicles

  • http://www.facebook.com/LexusandThePursuit WorldofLuxury

    Interesting.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Dan wrote:So, the IS-F is not on the Recall List?

    No, only IS 250s & 350s made in 2006.

  • nick

    My fathers 2006 started leaking brake fluid in 2008. I noticed a few drops on the driveway. By the next day the car lost almost almost all braking power. Couldn’t drive the car far so I limped it to a local repair shop. They replaced the master cylinder at my expense. My brakes haven’t been up to par ever since. I just received recall notice in the mail. What can I do?

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    nick wrote:My fathers 2006 started leaking brake fluid in 2008. I noticed a few drops on the driveway. By the next day the car lost almost almost all braking power. Couldn’t drive the car far so I limped it to a local repair shop. They replaced the master cylinder at my expense. My brakes haven’t been up to par ever since. I just received recall notice in the mail. What can I do?

    This recall is about the fuel system, not the brake system. I would say your two problems are unrelated. :-)

  • nick

    krew wrote:This recall is about the fuel system, not the brake system. I would say your two problems are unrelated.

    This recall is about the brake master cylinder. I think you’re getting the most recent recall confused.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    nick wrote:This recall is about the brake master cylinder. I think you’re getting the most recent recall confused.

    Oops — sorry about that!

    I see your issue, but I’m not 100% what your course of action is. I wouldn’t hesitate to contact Lexus Corporate and let them know your issue – -I’m sure they will be happy to help.

    (Man, I’m embarrassed.)

  • nick

    No problem, easy mistake to make, with all the recalls and all. I haven’t had much luck getting Lexus to pay attention to me. I’m probably going to sell the car. Which is a shame because we have three Lexus RX’s in the family. I’m guessing their plant in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada couldn’t source local quality suppliers. The quality behind the RX330 is sub-par. At least compared to our 2002 (made in Japan)and 2010 (made in Canada) Lexus RX’s. Leaky headlight housings (failed xenon ballasts), the paint peeled off the roof rack, the power gate never worked properly, and the car just rattles constantly. There are TSB’s for all this stuff, but the Lexus dealership refuses to fix these issues.

    I was going to trade in the 2006 RX for an IS250, but all the recalls that model has received is making me a little anxious. What a shame. The brand has been reliable to our family since 1990. The RX330 is by far a lemon, compared to the rest of the gems my family has owned.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LexusandThePursuit WorldofLuxury

    @nick: I have seen quite a few IS and GS with one of the Xenons broken/disconnected.

  • nick

    There is a TSB for the first few years of RX330 for a condensation problem in the headlight housings. My headlight housings definitely have a problem with water entry. After a while the ballast stopped working in one of the headlights. The problem is that the ballast is in the lowest part of the housing, so that it sits in any moisture that enters the housing. Compounding the problem, the Denso units used, are not waterproof unlike some aftermarket units.

    Unfortunately my dealership has failed to repair the many issues that have TSB’s. With exception to one a rattle (caused by a faulty bracket) under the car after a few complaints, but have failed to acknowledge any others.

    It’s interesting that Lexus has removed the AFS system from the latest IS iteration. The benefit of having the headlights aim into a corner a moment after you enter a corner doesn’t outweigh the added cost. These headlights are too damn expensive!

    Anyways thanks for listening to my rant.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Hi Nick,

    Sorry to hear about your issues — what about visiting a different dealership for the TSIB work?

  • http://www.facebook.com/LexusandThePursuit WorldofLuxury

    @nick: Adaptive front headlights and heated steering wheel are options you can’t live without once you have them.

    My two front LX doors chirp, so I can’t enjoy the Mark Levinson speakers like I used to. I wonder if there’s a TSB for that…

  • bbar3bie3

    I had a leaky master cylinder in a 2002 Lexus AS SOON as it came off the finish line!! I knew there was something wrong….and it resulted in my having to ‘trade it in’,,,they would have fixed it, but I did not want a car that came off the finish line with something wrong with it.,…I had 153 miles on it and traded it for an SUV RX300 taking a $5000 loss. Lexus corporate office was notified resulting in my making a deal with Lexus dealer in lieu of my loss of $5000, free service til 50,000 miles…and one set of tires. Not a good deal, but with them all ganging up on me a ‘poor woman alone’….I accepted. NOW I have 74000 miles on the RX300 and again…..a LEAKY MASTER CYLINDER!……..I have had new brakes 2009….and service and oil change with the works…every 3000 miles……………..what’s with the LEXUS and LEAKY MASTER CYLINDERS?? I have had it serviced by the local Toyota dealer as there is no LEXUS dealer within 70 miles of me now.

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Hi there,

    Sorry to hear about your issues, I would recommend contacting Lexus Corporate @ http://lexus.com/contact

    Best of luck!

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