Toyota and Honda launch recalls for the same issue - over brake fluid leaks

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Toyota launches another massive recall on Thursday over a safety issue of brake fluid leaks. This time Toyota is not alone. Honda keeps it company over the same issue. Toyota, the world's largest car manufacturer is going to recall 1.53 million  2005 to 2007 model year cars globally. Most of the models affected are in the United States and Japan. The recall affects 728,544 cars in the US alone and 599,000 in Japan are affected. According to Toyota Canada nearly 29,000 vehicles get affected in Canada by the voluntary recall.  Thursday's recall affects the 2005-2006 Toyota Avalon, 2004-2006 Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX 330, and the 2006 Lexus GS300, IS 250 and IS350 about brake fluid and fuel pump problems. Honda plans today to officially file with regulators its recall of certain 2005-07 Honda Odyssey minivans and Acura RL sedans.

This recall is aimed at fixing an issue with a rubber seal that can degrade and cause brake fluid to leak. This leak can weaken the power of its brake. Toyota feels that  a "possibility" of the brake fluid slowly leaking out of the brake cylinder in the vehicles. Drivers will get an early warning of the problem when the 'low brake fluid' warning light flashes. In its news release Toyota warns that a low fluid level could eventually lead to declining braking performance, Both Toyota and Honda said they have no reports of accidents, although Toyota said it found 14 instances in which the leak occurred. A Toyota spokesmen has admitted that their cars in Japan and elsewhere  have an electrical problem with the fuel pump, which could stall the engine. So far this kind of problem has not been  reported in the US.

Is a wrong kind of brake fluid to blame for the leaks?

In their filing with US regulators both Toyota and Honda automakers stated that

* The problem would not have occur had the owners followed auto maker's recommendations
* The auto maker recommended the use of their branded brake fluid only
* Toyota's brake fluids contain polymers that act as lubricants
* If the wrong kind of brake fluid is added, a rubber seal in the brake's master cylinder  dries out and curls
* The dried and curled rubber seal causes the leak

Japanese regulations

Toyota admits having known the brake fluid leak problem in 2006 itself  through reports about the leaks and brake warning lights. Earlier this year though the tests revealed that the leakage was small it did not corroborate with the Japanese auto regulations. The failure to stand up to the auto specifications In Japan which that do not allow any leaks, prompted a recall in Japan and thereafter Toyota preempted the US recall too.

Toyota has since revised the master-cylinder design so that it holds up to different types of brake fluid present in the market.

The automaker is planning to mail the owners of affected vehicles a recall notice over the next few weeks The owners of the said vehicles can bring them in for repairs at no cost to the owners.

Toyota has recalled more than 10 million cars and trucks worldwide over the past year in 15 recalls. The recalls were over quality problems - faulty gas pedals and floor mats that can trap accelerators and braking problems in its Prius hybrid. In August, Toyota recalled 1.33 million Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks in the US and Canada for their stalling engines. Toyota had recently completed repairs on more than five million vehicles for three major recalls announced in late 2009 and early 2010 in the US involving unintended acceleration and braking issues.

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Toyota and Honda launch recalls for the same issue - over brake fluid leaks

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Toyota and Honda launch recalls for the same issue - over brake fluid leaks

This article was published on 2010/10/29