Toyota Canada Inc. is recalling approximately 28,700 vehicles over possible issues around leaking brake fluid that, over time, could cause spongy or soft brake feel.
Affected vehicles include the 2005 through 2006 Toyota Avalon, 2004 through 2006 Toyota Highlander (Non Hybrid) and Lexus RX 330, and 2006 Lexus GS 300, IS 250, and IS 350 vehicles sold in Canada.
This is part of a larger, 1.53 million vehicle recall that Toyota is issuing worldwide today for the same potential problem.
According to the company, the brake fluid used by Toyota during vehicle assembly for vehicles sold in Canada contains polymers. The polymers act as lubricants for certain brake system components.
If during vehicle maintenance, brake fluid is used that does not contain such polymers or only small amounts, a part of the internal rubber seal (brake master cylinder cup) located at the end of the brake master cylinder piston may become dry and may curl during movement of the piston. The automaker says if this occurs, a small amount of the brake fluid could slowly leak from the brake master cylinder into the brake booster, resulting in illumination of the brake warning lamp.
If the brake warning light has illuminated and the vehicle continues to be operated without refilling the master cylinder brake fluid reservoir, the driver will begin to notice a spongy or soft brake pedal feel and braking performance may gradually decline.
Owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by mail beginning in mid-November. Toyota and Lexus dealers will replace the brake master cylinder cup with a newly designed one at no charge to the vehicle owners.