Yesterday, Toyota announced the worldwide recall of 1.53 million Lexus, Avalon and other models, including 740,000 cars in the US. Toyota’s U.S. arm issued a statement saying that several vehicles were being recalled, “to address the possibility that a small amount of brake fluid could slowly leak from the brake master cylinder, resulting in illumination of the brake warning lamp. If the brake warning lamp has illuminated and the vehicle continues to be operated without refilling the master cylinder brake fluid reservoir, the driver will begin to notice a spongy or soft brake pedal feel and braking performance may gradually decline.”
In the interest of fairness, it should be noted that Honda has indicated that it will be recalling some of its vehicles due to a similar problem that could result in leaking brake fluid.
Nevertheless, this most recent recall by Toyota brings the total number of cars recalled to well over the 10 million mark, far greater than the number of recalls made by Honda and Toyota’s other competitors. Here is a list of recalls, taken from Toyota’s website, that the worlds’ number one automobile manufacturer has made over the past year:
• Brake Master Cylinder seal issue (10/10)
• Electronic Control Module (ECM) casting problems (8/10)
• Steering Shaft disengagement condition (7/10)
• Steering lock bar potential breakage issue (7/10)
• Valve spring contamination problem (7/10)
• Steering wheel off-center condition (5/10)
• Software update in vehicle’s Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system (4/10)
• Spare tire carrier cable recall (4/10)
• Brake system problems with the hybrids (02/10)
• Gas pedals that have a dangerous, sticky habit (01/10)
• Floor mats that trap the gas pedals (“pedal entrapment”) (10/09)
What has happened to this once great company? What do you think has gone wrong?