Toyota is recalling 1.5 million cars in around the world for a brake fluid leak. This is roughly the same number of cars that Toyota sold in the US between September 2009-10 .
Affected models in the US include the Avalon (2005-6); the Lexus IS 250, 350 and GS 300 (06); and the Highlander and Lexus RX 330 (04-06). From the AFP:
The world’s largest automaker, which was battered by a global safety crisis earlier this year, said it would voluntarily recall 740,000 cars in the United States and almost 600,000 in Japan to fix the problem. It was also recalling 50,000 autos in Europe, 60,000 in China, 30,000 in Australia and 50,000 in other Asian nations, said a Toyota spokesman in Japan. He said that no accidents had been linked to the defect.
Toyota is recalling the cars to repair a flaw in which “a small amount of the brake fluid could slowly leak from the brake master cylinder”, which would lead the brake warning lamp to illuminate, the company said. If at this point the brake fluid is not replaced, “the driver will begin to notice a spongy or soft brake pedal feel and braking performance may gradually decline”, Toyota USA said in a statement.
The latest recall came as Toyota became more aggressive in catching possible defects as part of a campaign to improve its consumer image, said Tatsuya Mizuno, auto analyst at Mizuno Credit Advisory.
This ups the number of total Toyotas recalled to about 11.5 million. Impressively, that’s still not the biggest recall ever. That distinction belongs to Ford’s 14 million car cruise-control recall. Just a couple more recalls, though, and Toyota will be on top.