Toyota Recall-itis: Company Had 2007 Recall for Similar Brake Issues

By Bill Visnic October 22, 2010

2005 Toyota Avalon - 204.JPG A new Toyota Motor Corp. recall this week of 740,000 vehicles in the U.S. is for a brake-system problem quite similar to one addressed in a 2007 recall, according to an analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

The latest recall - for 2005-06 Avalon, 2004-06 Highlander and 2006 Lexus RX 330, IS 250/350 and GS 300 - involves a seal on the brake master cylinder that can become too dry in the presence of brake fluid without the proper amount of lubricant, causing the seal to leak. In 2007, Toyota recalled 2006 Tundra pickups and 2005-07 Sequoia SUVs that may have had replacement master cylinders installed with seals that could fail and leak brake fluid. analysis of the NHTSA complaint database for 2005 through 2010 model years indicates that for all Toyota and Lexus vehicles, there was a total of 2,671 complaints related to loss of braking effectiveness, high pedal effort and long pedal travel - all symptoms that could be correlated to this week's recall.

Complaints pertaining to the vehicles and model years affected by this week's recall amount to 91 of the 2,671 Toyota/Lexus braking-related complaints for the 6-year period, or just 3.4 percent of the total, said analyst Panee Segal. In terms of the 740,000 vehicles affected in the U.S., the 91 braking complaints submitted to NHTSA that mention symptoms similar to those Toyota said could be produced by the faulty brake master cylinder does not seem to indicate a strong trend or pattern.

The NHTSA data indicate 16 total complaints for 2005-06 Avalons, 67 complaints for 2005-06 Highlanders, four complaints for 2005-06 Lexus RX 330s, three complaints for the 2006 IS 250 and one complaint for the 2006 GS 300.

Looking further at the 91 complaints, the preponderance, 85, reported "loss of braking effectiveness." Four complaints were for "long pedal travel" and two were for "high pedal effort."

Toyota has not said what it expects the latest recall, which affects more than 1.5 million vehicles worldwide, to cost.


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