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.