Toyota executives in Japan have directed the Lexus division of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, to prepare for a recall on 138,000 Lexus vehicles powered by 4.6- and 5.0-liter V8 engines and 3.5-liter V6 engines.
The safety related recall will cover 2006, 2007 and 2008 GS, IS and LS models sold in the U.S. This is part of a larger global recall due to Toyota quality problems, this time affecting 270,000 vehicles.
The formal defect report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be filed during the week of July 5, according to a statement released late Friday afternoon by TMS in a classic attempt to limit news coverage of the latest manufacturing quality problem.
NHTSA has imposed record fines on Toyota this year for its previous failure to report a safety related defect regarding sticking gas pedals, and recently discovered during compliance testing that the Lexus HS 250h leaks an illegal amount of fuel during a rear crash. A “stop sale” is now in place. (See Another Toyota Recall Coming on Lexus Hybrids and Toyota to Recall 270,000 Lexus Models for Stalling) Whether Lexus failed to inform NHTSA on time about this latest defect remains to be seen.
In the defective Lexus engines, a quality control failure in the manufacturing process allowed “foreign material” to contaminate a “small number of the valve springs.” If a Lexus is affected, there is the possibility that abnormal engine noise or idling may occur.
“In extremely rare instances, the engine may stop” while the Lexus is in operation, according to the statement from the U.S. sales division, which does not have the authority to order a recall, as that power resides in Japan with Japanese executives.