Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing will recall more than 100,000 Lexus vehicles containing fuel systems that can leak and potentially catch fire.
The Plano, Texas-based manufacturer sent the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) a safety recall report on June 26, 2018 stating they will recall 114,998 2007-2011 Lexus GS350, 2006-2013 Lexus IS350, 2007-2011 Lexus GS450h, and 2010-2014 Lexus IS350C vehicles built between June 19, 2006 and August 5, 2014.
The affected vehicles are equipped with 3.5L V6 engines with intake port injection systems using a fuel delivery pipe and two fuel pulsation dampers. The diaphragm materials in those dampers can harden over time because of a chemical reaction to certain fuel additives, higher ethanol content in certain fuels, and high temperatures. These chemical reactions can cause diaphragm cracks, letting fuel leak out. Fuel leaks can increase fire risk.
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Toyota first learned of a potential problem in March 2014, when the company received dealer reports of fuel leakage and fuel smells on a 2007 Lexus GS350. The company received more reports throughout 2015, after which they determined the diaphragm’s material could harden when exposed to certain fuel additives. Toyota continued investigating throughout 2016, but could not duplicate the reported cracking through testing.
The manufacturer found ethanol –used in higher concentrations in North American fuel – accelerated the cracking process. Testing continued with this new information, and the company initiated a safety recall on June 20, 2018.
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Toyota will notify owners and dealers will replace the fuel delivery pipe with a new pipe that has improved pulsation dampers, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 9, 2018. Owners may contact Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987. Toyota’s number for this recall is JLF. 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 lawyers 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.