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Toyota recall hits Australia

The affected Toyota Klugers were built between May 2003 and November 2005.

It's the fourth time this year that the country's top selling brand has been forced into a recall for a safety problem, this time involving the Toyota Kluger and a range of Lexus models.

The recall was triggered by a problem in the braking system that can lead to a fluid leak.  A total of 77 cases have been reported by owners in Australia and 17,582 Klugers and another 8201 Lexus vehicles will be recalled in a global total of more than 1.5 million vehicles.

Toyota spokesman, Mike Breen, says the company is already working to advise customers and get the vehicles repaired.  The problem can occur because the Toyota braking system on the vehicles involved needs brake fluid containing lubricating polymers. 

If different fluid is used, a rubber seal at the end of the brake master cylinder can be damaged and allow a fluid leak to develop.  "We're only talking about a trickle of fluid. But the brake warning light can come on," Breen says.

The affected Klugers were built between May 2003 and November 2005, while the Lexus vehicles involved are the RX330 SUV built between February 2003 and October 2005, the GS300 built from January 2005 to November 2005, and the IS250 built from September 2005 to November 2005.

Breen says Toyota moved quickly to identify the problem, using the new global recall system put in place after the disastrous worldwide recall of 8.5 million cars last year for a faulty accelerator pedal.

"I'd suggested we picked it up more quickly with the new system. We had to wait for Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan to identify the situation," he says.

The latest recall follows one for a steering problem in the LandCruiser, another in September for a faulty tailshaft support in some HiLux models, and one in February for re-calibration of the braking system in the Prius hybrid.

The solution for the latest recall is to replace the questionable part in the braking system, then flush the braking system and replace the fluid.