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.”