Fuel system faults prompt Toyota recall

Toyota is to recall a number of its Avensis and Lexus IS 250 models in the UK to carry out modifications to their fuel systems.

The company is now contacting registered owners through the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to advise them to take their vehicles in for repair.

The issue affects around 15,500 UK-registered Avensis 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre petrol-engine models, produced between July 2000 and September 2008.

The first concern is related to the fuel pipe, where small cracks can potentially develop after a long period of time. The second concern is related to insufficient tightening of the fuel pump check valve. In the worst case, these issues may cause fuel to leak.

Speaking to The Engineer, Toyota’s Richard Seymour said: ’Because it’s a direct-injection engine, there’s a mechanical pump to create the high pressure required. When the pipe that goes onto the check valve was manufactured the wall thickness of the pipe was slightly too small, and over time because these are older cars, due to fluctuations in driving conditions, there’s a chance we might get some small cracks.’

The repair involves replacing the fuel pipe and the fuel pump check valve. The job will take approximately two to four-and-a-half hours to complete.

Meanwhile the Lexus issues affect some 3,100 UK-registered IS 250 petrol-engine models produced between August 2007 and February 2009, and relate to the fuel pressure sensor.

Due to possible insufficient tightening, the fuel pressure sensor could loosen and in very rare cases fuel could leak.

’On the high-pressure fuel rail on the engine there’s a fuel pressure sensor that bolts on. Basically, the tool used is not sufficient, so we want to check that,’ said Seymour.

The repair involves re-tightening the fuel pressure sensor, which will take around an hour; if the fuel is leaking, the repair will involve replacing the fuel pressure sensor gasket, which will take three hours.

There have been no reports of accidents related to either model. Jon Williams, managing director of Toyota GB, said: ’We will liaise with our customers to carry out the repair procedures as efficiently as possible, with minimal disruption.’

In the USA Toyota is to conduct a voluntary recall involving approximately 245,000 Lexus vehicles (various GS300/350, IS250 and IS350 models) due to insufficient tightening of the fuel pressure sensor connected to certain engine fuel delivery pipes. This could lead to the pressure sensor loosening over time.

The Japanese automotive giant also announced a separate recall today involving 1.3 million vehicles worldwide to remedy a different condition on another fuel delivery pipe and a high pressure fuel pump check valve.