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Toyota confirms Lexus engine recall

Confirmed: The Lexus LS460 is one of four models to be caught up in the company's engine valve spring safety recall in Australia.

Engine valve spring trouble forces Lexus to recall 1120 luxury cars in Australia

6 Jul 2010

TOYOTA Australia has today issued a safety recall of 1120 cars from its prestige brand Lexus to replace engine valve springs that could potentially cause the luxury vehicles to stall unexpectedly.

Affecting 270,000 vehicles worldwide, the recall affects four models sold in Australia: the flagship $243,900 LS600hL hybrid, the LS460, GS460 and GS450h hybrid.

Other affected models overseas include the IS350, which is due for release in Australia in the final quarter, as well as the Lexus GS350 and Toyota Crown, which are not sold here.

As GoAuto has reported, faulty valve springs were discovered in certain V6 (3.5-litre) and V8 (4.6 and 5.0-litre) engines.

Foreign material is believed to have contaminated the valve springs of the engines in question during the manufacturing process, resulting in potential breakage.

According to the company, there have been no reports of engine failure or vehicles stalling in Australia, but Toyota Australia spokesman Glenn Campbell told GoAuto that it had received one case of an engine misfiring.

“There is a small possibility that abnormal engine noise or unstable idling may occur, and what we understand is that in very rare instances there is a chance that the engine may stall while driving due to the valve spring breaking,” Mr Campbell said.

 center imageLeft: Lexus GS450h. Below: Lexus LS600h.

The affected Australian models were produced between February 2007 and August 2008.

Owners of the vehicles involved will be personally contacted by a Lexus representative to discuss arrangements for repairs to be made, which will be performed at no cost to the owner.

The company has confirmed that repair times will be approximately three days for V8-powered models and one day for V6-powered models. Vehicle owners will be given a loan car “to reduce any inconvenience”.

“Lexus builds high quality luxury vehicles and is fully committed to customer safety, and once a recall campaign is launched we act quickly to fix those affected units,” Mr Campbell said.

Of the circa-270,000 vehicles affected worldwide, around 137,000 are in the US, 92,000 cars are in Japan and 5800 in China.

As we reported last week, Lexus has been increasingly caught up in Toyota’s ongoing global recall and quality crisis, which has affected around 10 million vehicles across all brands combined since last year.

The valve spring problem came to light a week after Toyota issued a recall of up to 17,000 2010 model year Lexus HS250h vehicles in the US after tests showed that fuel could spill in a rear-end crash.

The LS limousine was also subject to a global recall in May, when it was found that around 11,500 LS460 and LS600h vehicles – including 14 in Australia – could experience a problem with their variable gear ratio steering system in which the steering wheel was positioned off-centre when the wheels were in fact straight.

Earlier this year, Lexus recalled more than 214,000 vehicles in the US because of potential fuel hose leaks caused by ethanol fuels, while around 9500 examples of the LandCruiser Prado-based GX460 were also recalled to adjust their electronic stability control system.

None of these involved vehicles sold in Australia, and a subsequent global recall of almost 60,000 SUVs that have the same underpinnings as the GX460 also did not extend to Australia.

Toyota Australia did, however, issue a recall notice last week for the LandCruiser 200 Series for a problem that could prevent the front seatbelt buckles from engaging

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