Defective valve prompts Toyota to issue a recall

The main UAE distributor will recall more than 1,000 vehicles because a defective spring valve might cause the engine to stall.

Toyota's UAE distributor will recall more than 1,000 vehicles because a defective spring valve might cause the engine to stall. Al-Futtaim Motors has started contacting owners. "Following close communication with Lexus Japan, we can now confirm that 1,347 selected 2007-2008 model year Lexus LS 460s are affected in the UAE," said Simon Friths, managing director of Al-Futtaim Motors.

The fault has affected more than 270,000 vehicles worldwide, including eight high-end models. While no accidents have been reported because of the defect, Toyota has gotten almost 220 complaints. The flaw may lead to abnormal engine noise or rough idling, as well as stalling. Al-Futtaim received only three complaints of abnormal engine noise. The repair is straightforward, Mr Friths said. "We don't have to take the engine block apart. We just take the valve covers away and can get into the valve strings and replace them from there."

The recall includes 138,000 vehicles in the US; 15,000 in Europe; 10,000 in the Middle East; 6,000 in China; 4,000 in Canada; and 8,000 in other regions. It is the second recall this year in the Emirates for Toyota, which makes about a third of cars sold here. Of the affected vehicles, 20 have been sold to rental companies, including seven to Hertz. "The vast majority of them are on a lease fleet," said Nigel Johnson, managing director of Hertz UAE. He said Toyota lets him know when it has the parts it needs and arranges to get the car in for repair.

In the past recalls, he said, the repairs were done in 20 minutes. "I am not expecting any disruption to my business except for the inconvenience of the vehicle going in." In February, the world's biggest car maker was ordered to recall 3,120 vehicles in the UAE as part of a global campaign to fix accelerator problems that had been linked to several fatal crashes. A faulty pedal caused the vehicle to accelerate out of control.

That fault has been linked to accidents involving 19 deaths, according to reports. The recall affected more than four million vehicles worldwide. More than 10 million cars have been recalled by Toyota since the start of 2009 for various problems. In addition to the accelerator issue, recalls have occurred over braking problems, defective floor mats and a sticking gas pedal. Anyone with concerns should contact the Toyota customer care hotline on 04 206 6002.