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TRD sales still on hold

Blown: Supercharged Aurion TRD V6 is under the microscope.

Prodrive, Harrop in clear as Toyota seeks cause of TRD Aurion engine failure

28 Sep 2007

TOYOTA Australia has yet to reveal the exact cause of a mysterious and embarrassing engine failure that led the company to withdraw its high-performance Aurion TRD from sale just weeks after it was released.

However, suppliers Prodrive, which modifies the basic Aurion for Toyota, and Eaton supercharger agent Harrop Engineering have both been cleared of responsibility.

Toyota maintains that the failure of the 3.5-litre supercharged V6 is an isolated case and has resumed production of the car, but stocks are being held back from dealers.

The company suspended sales of the TRD Aurion last week after an engine failed while being driven by a Melbourne dealer salesman.

“(TRD) are still doing their testing so they are not up to a point where they want to say anything yet,” said company spokesman Mike Breen on Monday.

“Once they got the engine back it was already detonated so it was hard to see what was cause and what was effect, so that’s been a challenge for them.

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“They’ve been trying to replicate the situation the dealer had the car in to see if they could make it happen again and they’ve been checking the engines internals with an endoscope to see if there was any foreign matter inside the engines. But so far they haven’t found anything untoward.

“They still maintain it’s an isolated case, but until we are 110 per cent sure we’re just not willing to send them out. It might seem an over-reaction, but that’s the Toyota way.”

Mr Breen said that Prodrive was “totally in the clear” after checking the 150 cars built to date at its new facility near the Toyota factory in Altona.

“It’s not a Prodrive concern. One of the reasons (the engineers) wanted to look inside the engines was to make sure that during the changing of components some foreign matter didn’t fall inside inadvertently,” he said.

“They haven’t found anything to suggest that, and they didn’t think they would because the way things are done by Prodrive there’s no reason to think that anything could find it’s way inside the engine.

“Harrop dissected the supercharger that was on the car and checked it to make sure there were no problems with the castings or anything like that and they’re 100 per cent in the clear as well.”

Toyota had delivered only five cars to customers when the problem arose and has another 30 customer orders awaiting delivery.

Owners of the five TRD Aurions were not formally advised of the problem because Toyota is confident it is an isolated incident.

TRD launched the supercharged Aurion only last month after four years of planning and development.

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TRD engine blow

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