Toyota issues voluntary recall, 4600 Hawaii vehicles affected

Rick Ching
Rick Ching

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MAPUNAPUNA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Plagued with recalls this year, Toyota is reporting yet another round of mechanical problems.

This time, more than 1.5 million cars around the globe are affected.

No accidents involving the affected vehicles have been reported so far.

Servco Automotive Honolulu on Thursday, gave insight on what's causing the rash of recalls.

This latest recall is voluntary, and does not affect any of the new models sold at Servco's showroom. It affects models dating from 2004 to 2006, and in Hawaii, there are 4600 of them.

"It has been an unusual year," said Rick Ching, Servco Automotive President.

It marks at least the fourth recall in 2010 for Toyota.

The worst was in January. More than seven million cars worldwide were recalled for sticky gas pedals.

In February, Toyota issued another recall for cracks in front propeller shafts of certain Tacoma's.

In July, a recall involving about 270,000 Lexus models was issued over potentially faulty engines.

This time, it's problems with brake fluid.

Why so many recalls? Ching says it's partly because cars today are more sophisticated.

"There's a lot more technology involved in the cars. And manufacturers are much more proactive now in making recalls and getting the recalls fixed," said Ching.

There are six vehicles listed in this latest recall:

2005-2006 Avalon

2004-2006 Highlander (non-hybrid)

2004-2006 Lexus RX330

2006 Lexus GS300

2006 Lexus IS250

2006 Lexus IS350

The problem is that brake fluid could leak. That'll trigger the brake warning light.

At that point, Toyota urges customers to take the car to a dealership immediately for a free fix, though Ching says it's not likely the brakes will suddenly stop working.

"If somebody continues to drive the vehicle with the brake light on, they might start feeling a sponginess in the brake, a different brake feel," said Ching.

Also having brake fluid problems is Honda.

The automaker plans to recall certain 2005 to 2007 models of the Acura RL Sedan and the Honda Odyssey Minivan.

The company says it doesn't know yet how many vehicles are affected.

As for Toyota, Servco can't give numbers, but says the recalls have taken a financial toll.

However, the company says it's more worried about safety than money.

Ching says in his 25 year career at Servco, this year is an unprecedented one for the auto industry in terms of recalls.

Servco will send notices to owners of affected vehicles starting in November.

Toyota/Lexus customers on Oahu who have questions can call 839-2273. Those on neighbor islands can call toll-free at 1-888-272-5515.

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