Latest Toyota Recall Due to Replacement Brake Fluid and OE Seals

Latest Toyota Recall Due to Replacement Brake Fluid and OE Seals

Toyota Motor Sales announced it will conduct a voluntary Safety Recall for a brake problem that occurs once the vehicle has been serviced with non-factory fill/genuine brake fluid. Drivers may experience a small amount of the brake fluid leaking from the brake master cylinder, resulting in illumination of the brake warning lamp.

Toyota Motor Sales announced it will conduct a voluntary Safety Recall for a brake problem that occurs once the vehicle has been serviced with non-factory fill/genuine brake fluid.
 
The recall involves the following models and affects 740,000 vehicles sold in the U.S.:
• 2005-2006 Avalon;
• 2004-2006 Highlander (non Hybrid);
• Lexus RX330, and
• 2006 Lexus GS300, IS250 and IS350.
 
Drivers may experience a small amount of the brake fluid leaking from the brake master cylinder, 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.
 
The cause of the leak was cited as non factory-fill Toyota brake fluid added during service of the systems. Toyota claims that some replacement brake fluids do not contain the correct levels of a certain polymer to protect the internal rubber seal (brake master cylinder cup) located at the end of the brake master cylinder piston from drying out and curling during movements of the brake pedal.  
 
The press release states: “The Toyota genuine brake fluid used during vehicle assembly for vehicles sold in the U.S. contains polymers. The polymers act as lubricants for certain brake system components.”
 
The updated seal is manufactured of a material that can operate in an environment with lower levels of this polymer. This should prevent any further leaks no matter what brand of brake fluid is used to service the system.
 
In Toyota service information and in owner’s manuals, Toyota specifies SAE J1703 or FMVSS No.116 DOT3 brake fluid. These recommendations are still in place and it is acceptable to use any brand of brake fluid as long as it meets SAE or DOT recommendations.
 
These standards focus on the boiling point and compressibility, but they also focus on the seal compatibility, corrosion resistance and lubricating properties. But, every brake fluid manufacturer has its own additive package. The unnamed polymer is typically a component.
 
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.

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