Recalls were the bane of Toyota’s existence in 2010, as some 12 million vehicles worldwide were recalled for various problems. Sadly, it appears 2011 is starting in a similar manner. Toyota just announced it’s recalling some 1.7 million cars world wide -- including 245,000 Lexus IS and GS models in the U.S. -- to address potential fuel leaks.
According to Toyota, the North American recall of its Lexus sedans stems from the improper tightening of a number of fuel sensors. If the fuel sensor wasn’t tightened properly, it could loosen over time, potentially allowing fuel to slowly leak from the vehicle. Toyota says all 2006-2007 Lexus GS300 and GS350 sedans, 2006-2009 IS250 sedans, and 2006-2008 IS350 sedans are involved in the recall.
While a fuel leak can be a rather serious problem, the fix is simple. Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by Toyota shortly, and only need to bring the vehicle to a dealership for a quick inspection. If a technician determines that fuel has leaked, the dealerships will replace the gasket surrounding the sensor and tighten it to the proper torque. If no leak is found, the gasket will be tightened as a precaution.
The other cars implicated in the recall potentially exhibit a different sort of fuel leak. These vehicles were built with a high-pressure fuel pump check valve connection that, due to wear, could potentially crack and spill fuel. Toyota says the problem doesn’t affect any cars in the U.S., but over 1.3 million vehicles in Japan, along with 140,000 Avensis sedans and wagons sold in Europe and New Zealand, are affected.
Toyota says that it has received roughly 280 complaints about fuel leaks worldwide, which prompted the 1.7-million-vehicle recall.