Toyota and Lexus Recall Cars to Replace Engines

Keith Barry

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If you’ve just bought a new Toyota or Lexus, your vehicle may need its engine replaced. Over 44,000 cars and SUVs from the 2019 and 2020 model years are being recalled because they may overheat, stall, or even catch fire.

Affected vehicles include 2020 Toyota Camry, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, and Lexus ES300h sedans, and 2019-2020 Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid SUVs.

The recall is due to an issue with the engine block, where combustion takes place. Because of a manufacturing error, the engine block could leak coolant or oil, which may lead to a stall or fire while the engine is in use. Drivers may first notice warning lights and chimes, increased engine noise, and/or engine smoke.
 

In a written statement, Toyota announced that about 250 out of the 44,191 recalled vehicles will actually need their engine replaced, but dealers will have to check the serial numbers on the engine blocks in recalled vehicles to determine whether they were part of the faulty batch.

The problem started in September 2019 at a Toyota-owned factory in Tennessee that manufactures engine blocks for Toyota and Lexus vehicles. According to a written statement from the automaker, a water flow meter at the factory failed while some engine blocks were being cast. As a result, these blocks did not cool properly, which caused cracks to develop.

Toyota said it discovered the problem when it found vehicles with coolant leaks during inspections of new vehicles at factories and dealers. Although the majority of affected vehicles have already been sold to consumers, some are still on dealer lots and cannot be sold until they have been repaired.

When contacted by CR, a Toyota spokesperson would not comment on whether there have been any crashes or injuries related to this problem.

The Details

Vehicles Recalled
• 2020 Toyota Camry sedans manufactured from Sept. 12, 2019 through Jan. 15, 2020
• 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid sedans manufactured from Sept. 16, 2019 through Dec. 19, 2019
• 2019 and 2020 Toyota RAV4 SUVs manufactured from Sept. 12, 2019 through Nov. 20, 2019
• 2019 and 2020 Toyota RAV4 SUVs manufactured from Sept. 12, 2019 through Nov. 20, 2019
• 2019 and 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid SUVs manufactured from Sept. 12, 2019 through Dec. 10, 2019
• 2020 Lexus ES300h sedans manufactured from Sept. 16, 2019 through Dec. 18, 2019
• 2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid sedans manufactured from Sept. 16, 2019 through Dec. 13, 2019

The problem: Due to a manufacturing issue, the engine block may be cracked. As a result, the vehicles may overheat, stall, or catch fire.

The fix: Dealers will check the serial number on the engine block to determine if it is part of a faulty batch. If it is, dealers will replace the engine free of charge.

How to contact the manufacturer: Toyota said that recall is expected to begin April 6, 2020. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371 or Lexus at 1-800-255-3987.

NHTSA campaign number: 20V064. Toyota's own number for this recall is 20TA04. Lexus' own number for this recall is 20LA02.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has a recall that needs to be addressed.

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