Another wham-o for the world’s biggest car company. On top of the nearly 9 million cars already brought back, Toyota has announced it will recall about 270,000 cars (specifically the GS 350, GS 450h, GS 460, IS 350, LS 460 and LS 600hL), plus the Toyota Crown (not sold in the U.S.). About 137,000 U.S. cars are affected.
Those who follow such things will note that the hybrid Lexus HS 250h got a safety recall last week—17,000 cars—for possible fuel leakage in a crash. Sales were suspended. Further, the L.A. Times tells us that:
Japan’s top business daily, Nikkei, and the Kyodo News agency reported Thursday that Toyota may recall tens of thousands of the Lexus LS 460 model.
Reasons were not stated, but these problems more and more seem to resemble an epidemic.
The problem in the latest recall is faulty valve springs “made from low-quality metal” that could crack, causing the engine possibly to stall or make “abnormal idling or engine noise,” said a Toyota spokesman.
This will not be an easy fix, since these engines use overhead cams, and the valve springs will have to be replaced by removing the camshafts, so it seems (image at right of an IS 350 engine). You won’t be in and out of the shop quickly.
Engine repairs, according to LeftLane, will run about $844 per vehicle (or $228 million total), not including other costs, like rental car agreements and other “damage control measures.”
The latter are likely to be substantial, when you factor in the effect that this recall will have on customers and sales. Toyota’s market share continues to decline, and the company just announced that its annual summer clearance sale will begin in July, a month before the traditional August event.
We know there are lots of Toyota lovers out there. Does this latest recall do anything to dampen your loyalty to the firm and its products?