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The Plano, Texas-based manufacturer sent a safety recall report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stating they will recall 6,046 2018 Toyota Camry, 2018 Toyota Highlander, 2017 Toyota Sienna, 2017 Toyota Tacoma, and 2017 Lexus RX350 vehicles built between Oct. 2 and Nov. 3, 2017.
Toyota stated in the report the affected vehicles contain brake booster vacuum pump assemblies with improperly machined oil galleys. The vacuum pump is supplied oil from the engine to seal and lubricate the pump vane’s movement. The defect can cause oil to not properly circulate through the system, eventually breaking the pump vane and causing potentially dangerous braking assist loss.
A worker test driving a vehicle on Oct. 11, 2017 first noticed a “hard brake pedal feeling,” brake warning light and warning message on the multifunctional display accompanied by an audible tone. Engineers inspected the vehicle and found the vacuum pump malfunctioned. Further inspection found the pump’s oil galley hole wasn’t drilled completely, keeping engine oil from reaching the vacuum pump housing.
Toyota requested the component manufacturer, Magna Powertrain of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, to begin investigating the possible cause of the defect. Toyota began its own investigation to determine how wide the issue spread throughout its vehicle fleet.
Magna Powertrain eventually discovered a power surge on Aug. 7, 2017 stopped production and reset production machine calibration. These incorrectly calibrated machines couldn’t correctly drill the vacuum pump’s oil holes, causing the defect.
Toyota will notify owners and dealers will replace the brake booster vacuum pump, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 31, 2018. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371, or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987. Toyota’s numbers for this recall are J0K/JLD. Toyota owners can also visit the NHTSA’s website and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.
Your vehicle’s manufacturer is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide your recalled vehicle’s loss value, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to help you.
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.