By on October 28, 2020

Toyota has added another 1.5 million vehicles to the fuel pump recall instituted at the start of 2020, bringing the grand total to 3.34 million units. While the original recall accounts for models stretching all the way back to 2013, the manufacturer announced on Wednesday that the newest additions encompass Toyota and Lexus products assembled between July 2017 and September 2020.

Considering a portion of the vehicles were manufactured months after the firm had already announced there was a safety issue with the pump, it’s a little odd to see them being added to the list at all. Supplier Denso Corp. is responsible for the components in both instances and suggested we reach out to Toyota for information. But the Japanese automaker essentially reiterated what it said in the previous safety announcement, adding that it was working with Denso to make sure replacement parts were made promptly available.

“The subject vehicles are equipped with a fuel pump which may stop operating,” the company explained. “If this were to occur, warning lights and messages may be displayed on the instrument panel, and the engine may run rough. This can result in a vehicle stall, and the vehicle may be unable to be restarted. If a vehicle stall occurs while driving at higher speeds, this could increase the risk of a crash.”

Toyota did not say if there were any crashes known to be the fault of an ailing fuel pump but is encouraging drivers to exercise caution. It also recommended customers use their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s safety recall website. Considering the long list of models (everything from the 2013 Lexus GS 350 to the 2020 Toyota RAV4) affected, that’s probably not a terrible idea if you’ve purchased any Toyota/Lexus vehicle within the last decade. However, a comprehensive model list can be found in the recall announcement on the manufacturer’s website.

Toyota said owners of the vehicles now included in the recall, that were not included in the recall population as of April 9th, 2020, will be notified by late December. Customer support is likewise available by calling the Toyota Brand Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

[Image: Toyota Motor Corp]

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17 Comments on “Toyota’s Fuel Pump Recall Reaches 3.3 Million Vehicles in U.S....”


  • avatar
    DOHC 106

    Well take it from me, after owning a 2005 Nissan sentry 1.8 automatic and needed 6 fuel pumps and 2 head gaskets, I would still buy a Toyota. They at least acknowledged it.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    I don’t know the details of the Denso fuel pump, but this reminds me of the German fuel pump problem of the mid-80s to the mid-90s. First BMW and later VW decided that they needed a “pre-pump” or primer pump. That would pump the fuel out of the tank to the main FI pump. Problem was the primer pump had a high early failure rate. However the cars would continue to run as the fuel could siphon out of the tank to the main pump. Eventually with the fuel level in the tank low the siphon effect was low to zero and the fuel turned to vapor bubbles. This caused the main FI pump to overheat and stop working. And then the engine would stop. At first after a few minutes the car would restart. This would happen at low fuel level, say 1/8 tank, but over time it happened at 1./4 tank then 1/2 tank, then the pump would not run at all.
    There were a lot of tow bills and angry customers. It took a while to get a replacement pump that would last more than a year. Some failed in a month or less.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Since pumping fuel to an engine is hardly new tech, I suspect this problem is due to Denso and/or Toyota cost-reducing the quality out of the part.

    Cost reductions can also take the form of insufficient design and testing effort, not to mention slack tolerances or shoddy workmanship controls.

    I wonder: Would an aftermarket pump (non-Denso brand) be better?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I think, this was completely different issue. They said, this is a “low-pressure” pump. And the problem could occur only at high speeds. Which makes me think that when fuel is in high demand, pump might fail to give enough. I am wondering, if they have a return line on this car. May be they thought that with low pressure pump they can just spin it without opening pressure valve for return and remove return valve altogether? But when you walk such edge, you might step into crap and instead of saving get spending

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    YouTube says you gotta drop the tank to access it, so lots of labor time on this recall.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      They have labor added for more than 1/4 tank of fuel. I had low fuel light on when took it to the dealer. Gotta see invoice. These guys charged Toyota for air filter they never replaced

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Intersting. I just went to Toyota and NHTSA recall sites and entered my VIN on my 2020 RAV 4 HV.
    Zero recalls for my vehicle……as of now.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    Crazy. This recall affects my mother’s 2019 Highlander, they sent the notice and the recommendation to not drive the vehicle back in March of this year. The dealer still doesn’t have a date in sight for the parts arrival. Anyway, she’s been driving it without issue…what do you do…you can’t just park your daily driver for 7 months.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I have 2019 too. I received a letter about coming recall, “Toyota is working on solution”. Then I received a letter that dealer should have all necessary components to complete it – go and schedule appointment.

      There wasn’t anything indicating that I should not drive the vehicle. It was something like 4-5 months between letters. Remember, this issue only happens during high speed driving. If your mother does not drive over 70mph, she will be fine

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    8 whole comments. Too bad this wasn’t a domestic make…we’d be in the tripple digits by now with all manner of discussion ranging from Olds 350 diesels to why dont they retrofit new features on my 1985 Delta 88.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    Did that 2009 Highlander get fixed? Or go back for the same problem again and again?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Mine?
      No, there were different issues, most – total BS. Recalls like
      – wrong label on the door
      – floor mats
      – gas pedal
      – window switch
      – software upgrade

      It also had failed water pump @13K miles. But @131K it was running but too many issues due to design of the engine. + leaking main seal + leaking struts.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    EEK! Seems like you got a citrus version leaving a sour taste.

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