By on January 15, 2020

Toyota has announced the recall of 696,000 vehicles in the United States due to safety concerns caused by a suspect fuel pump. The manufacturer said affected vehicles are equipped with a pump which may stop operating, asking customers to be on the lookout for warning lights and a rough running engine.

Impacted autos run the risk of stalling, with an inability to restart the vehicle if the fuel pump fails entirely.

While this doesn’t guarantee a crash, Toyota worries a sudden loss of power at highway speeds will lead to dangerous mishaps. The automaker said it is currently conducting investigations to find a solution for the problem and intends on notifying Toyota and Lexus owners by mail in March.

Affected models include the 2018-2019 model year Lexus LS 500, LC 500, RC 350, RC 300, GS 350, IS 300, ES 350, LX 570, GX 460, and RX 350; certain 2019 model year Lexus NX 300, RX 350L, and GS 300 vehicles; certain 2018-2019 model year Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, and Tundra vehicles; and certain 2019 model year Toyota Avalons and Corollas.

That’s quite the variety of vehicles. If you’re concerned this recall pertains to you, a quick visit to Toyota.com/recall or nhtsa.gov/recalls may be in order. You’ll just need to have your Vehicle Identification Number handy so you can run a quick search to see whether or not you’ve managed to dodge the bullet. Otherwise, you should receive a letter in the mail in a couple of months.

Obviously, all repairs covered by the recall will be conducted free of charge.

[Image: Toyota]

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28 Comments on “Fuel Pump Issue Forces Toyota to Recall Almost 700,000 Vehicles...”


  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    2006 scion xA, hecho in japan. no recalls for anything, ever. going on 14 years no issues.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      And this is relevant, because?

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        It’s relevant because Toyota is going down the same path as GM, just a decade or so behind on their path to cost-cutting themselves to death. They may be “better” at it than the General but it still comes up and bites them with increasing frequency it seems.

        • 0 avatar
          tomLU86

          @gtem

          Why do you say that? I haven’t noticed Toyota’s reputation here, or in general, take a hit.

          I’ve noticed Honda’s has.

          If anything, Toyota’s (non-hybrid) vehicles seem pretty conservative–they are avoiding CVTs and rather than use 1.5 liter turbos (like Honda and GM), the stick to 2.4 liter normally aspirated 4-cylinders.

          My perception is if one wants a trouble-free car, a base Camry 4-cyl is probably as good a bet as their is.

          Their Tundra is old and Tacoma are old, but seem to be solid (I trust the leaf spring shackle problems were fixed long ago…)

          Am I missing something?

          I think we may have passed “peak reliability” in general, for all makes.

          Peak reliability might have started in the mid 90s for Toyota/Honda, and mid 2000s for the rest, and started to fade 2015 to 2020, as cars adopted more turbocharged small engines, more CVTs, more 8 to 10-speed automatics, not to mention the nice, but trouble-prone and expensive to fix touchscreens. Stop-start…

          When I think of “most reliable car”, I think of 1990 to 2010-15 Civics and Camrys, Corollas and Accords, and Lexus.

          Also, to pay for this stuff, maybe car makers are cutting corners elsewhere to save cost and weight..smaller and fewer fasteners….

          Still, what makes Toyota less than the most reliable company now? Who is better?

        • 0 avatar
          bkojote

          “Toyota is going down the same road as GM”

          GM’s crapulence runs over 5 decades deep at this point and extends on just about every level.

          This seems to be premature failure on a component, not garbage engineering under tested and under reported to save 90 cents.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “This seems to be premature failure on a component”

            Toyota started using the same suppliers as the Big Three in order to mitigate the import mandates imposed by the US Congress so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Toyota quality has gone to hell in a handbag, just like the products from the Big Three.

            That’s globalization of the auto industry for you.

            Takata, anyone?

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          tom I’ve experienced it first hand in my wife’s 2012 Camry. Now, the car is far from an unreliable piece of junk, it’s rolled up on 91k basically problem free. But it’s showing a lot more wear at 8 years old than prior Toyotas. Very fragile paint that almost any rock chip will penetrate past e-coat, soft windshield glass covered in microscratches just from regular cleaning/use, minor dash rattle from year 2, black paint on muffler flaked off after year 2, wheel center cap paint basically gone now, lower dash trim gets sticky in the summer, struts now starting to make a bit of noise (granted, car gets used in an urban environment and our roads suck). We had a battery fail at just 3 years old which is way too early IMO. Oil consumption moderate but it’s there, it’s insane to consider running Toyota’s recommended 10k interval, even 7500 miles is a tad risky unless you top off a quart or so. I run 5k. The biggest looming issue is the torque converter: there is an extended warranty to 8yrs/150k miles on it. Toyota employed this “flex lock” approach where they pulse the torque converter lock/unlock rapidly in lower gears to make it feel more direct and to save a sliver of fuel. Well, this stresses the torque converters, causes them to slowly shred apart. There was a reprogramming first, if the car starts to shudder at lower speeds they apparently will go in and replace the torque converter and add extra magnets to the pan to catch debris from the old one. Mine has always done a bit of low speed lugging/shudder, recently has started to do it a bit more. I have less than 6 months to decide what to do.

          So it’s not by any means been a disaster, but as a serial owner of 1990s Toyota products, this 2012 is barely recognizable to me as a Toyota, frankly.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      And most of the Lexus models recalled were also built in Japan.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I had J-vin Highlander and it had 8 recalls, 1 warranty repair. And at year-10 it had issues with engine, transmission ans leaking struts.

      Yes, this is first J-built car like that that I owned. But it is also first Toyota I owned. My J-built Mazdas were/are better built.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Maybe your J-built Mazdas used better suppliers for their parts sourcing.

        I liked Toyotas better when they were Japan-made, Japan-sourced, and imported into the US from Japan. I used a 1989 Camry V6 for awhile and it still ran great then, and continues to run great now for my best friend as a local grocery-getter.

        Built and sourced in Japan, before globalization and cheapification.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          My sis in law had US-built 2004 Camry for 13 years. Without saying that with age it became loose and drove like crap… It wasn’t stellar. There were some minor issues. She also had ~1996 Canadian Corolla. It was fairly reliable. I replaced started and also a lot of interior plastic knobs just fell off.

          I like Toyota hardware -it is better. Take rotors. Mazda rotors become really rusty. Toyota rotors last better.It is easier to take them off after 7 years. Hose clamps, bolts, etc… But with all that being better in Toyota, some Mazdas just hold better

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “some Mazdas just hold better”

            Mazda dealers are few and far between. If there were more Mazda dealers maybe more people would buy them.

            Not everyone wants to travel to buy. What happens if the damn thing breaks and needs warranty repair. Haul it to the dealer on a flatbed trailer? Who’s gonna pay for that?

            And the Mazda dealers that are available often have neither selection nor sales volume, requiring them to sell their Mazda products for top dollar to make it worthwhile for the dealer.

            Last year I drove a young active duty Air Force friend to Albuquerque where he had located a new 2019 Honda Ridgeline Sport, 5 of them to be exact.

            He went home a happy camper and was pleased with the deal he got because of selection and sales volume in ABQ. I didn’t stick around but was only a cell-phone call away. Took myself to Red Robin for lunch.

            No one asked me for a ride to buy a Mazda.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Ouch.

  • avatar

    That’s almost everything they make for NA consumption!

  • avatar
    randyinrocklin

    the Ghost of Goshn. hahahaha

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Dang it! Well, by March I’ll have had it a year and by then I should need my first oil change so perhaps it’ll work out.

    If I had waited until this month I could have gotten a pretty decent/similar deal on an IS350 instead of my 300 with the added benefit of avoiding this, largely minor, inconvenience.

  • avatar
    Oldschool

    Everything is being cheapened, all brands of vehicles have too especially if they want to meet the CAFE requirements. Lighter weight materials, turbo everything, just adds to less durability over time.

    Ford and FCA has been building crap for decades as well, it’s not just GM. Issues with the Focus transmission, ecoboost engine problems, electrical issues in many Fords. Chrysler goes down the same path with the 200 and Dodge with the Dart tranny issues and engine problems.. I don’t see too many of those cars around anymore and they’re not even that old yet!!

    The new Camry’s are so cheaply made inside that it’s a disgrace. Compared to there cars of the 90’s-2006, was probably their best era for fit and finish with nicely feeling door panels and dashboard. Very solid. Now there interior looks nice, but feels like crap. So yeah even Toyota has fallen somewhat.

    But overall Toyota’s seem to be more trouble free than most other brands even if they’re quality has slipped and the competition has surpassed them.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “even if they’re quality has slipped and the competition has surpassed them.”

      It’s been said before that things changed with Toyota when they started building them in the US.

      Too bad.

  • avatar
    brn

    It’ll come in handy if you run into the unintended acceleration issue.

  • avatar

    Yeah right, but Ford sucks anyway.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have never owned a Toyota and might not ever own one but then again I might own one in the future. I am not a fan of small turbo 4s and CVTs and Toyota seems to be the last to adopt both but that could change especially with auto makers looking for ways to increase mpgs to comply with future mandates. I have always liked Hondas but I am not a fan of their new turbo engines and CVTs–Earth Dreams are becoming Earth Nightmares for many Honda owners. I had my 99 S-10 for 20 1/2 years which I gave to my nephew and it is still running strong but I don’t believe I would buy a new GM product with all the problems recent GMs are having but then I would not buy a new Ford or FCA product either. It just might come down to in the future buying a Toyota. I did buy my neighbors low mileage 2012 Buick Lacrosse which for now seems to be flawless but then the Impala and the Lacrosse seem to be among the last good vehicles GM has made and both are dead brands. In the future my choice might be between Toyota, Hyundai, or Kia.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I suspect Toyota will continue to leverage its HSD technology and perhaps at one point use it to replace its conventional lineup in transverse applications. Why they got on the turbo fail bandwagon at all I’m really not sure, especially when I see HSD at the eventuality. Honda never had a workable hybrid system in terms of sale, thus they followed the industry and their ratings will suffer over time.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree Toyota is going in the same direction although not as fast. Slow adoption of turbos and CVTs has been a positive for Toyota since it has not yielded them the problems that the other manufacturers have had.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      “Most everyone has caught up or surpassed Toyota today on the quality front.” Objective surveys like Consumer Reports prove this is 100% untrue.

      “Slow adoption of turbos and CVTs has been a positive for Toyota since it has not yielded them the problems that the other manufacturers have had.” This is not an accident; Toyota has always let others debug new technologies before they’ll adopt them. I recall they were last to FWD in small cars with the Tercel, too — didn’t trust it yet. Toyota is a deeply conservative corporate culture that takes the shame of poor quality seriously. Their leaders are neither billionaires nor Wall Streeters nor U.S. MBAs. It’s a whole different mentality.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    Considering all objective data available, Toyota vehicles continue to take top quality spots, both initially and over time, with Lexus being #1 for quite a long time. Some Toyota models have had issues here and there, but everyone stating that Toyota quality is worse than the big 3 are dead wrong. I do not own a Toyota FWIW.

    An acquaintance shared this with me, and I am inclined to agree based on experience:

    Toyota finds out that a handful of fuel pumps supplied by a vendor are out of spec. Toyota issues a recall and replaces a wide swath of them proactively, even though only a few vehicles were actually affected.

    Chevy would tell you that the pump is “operating in GM specs” and then replace it after the warranty is up – on your dime.

    Ford would issue a recall, but there would be several other recalls ahead of the fuel pump, and the dealer wouldn’t have the parts for months anyway.

    RAM would take the truck off the flatbed, and the mechanic would smack the fuel pump with a hammer. The pump would come back to life (albeit temporarily), mechanic would log NTF, and send you on your way.

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