Toyota Camry Recall Issued Over Loss of Braking Assist

A defective vacuum pump could break, making braking more difficult over time.

Toyota has issued a safety recall for more than 200,000 Toyota Camry vehicles, due to a problem that impacts braking and increases the risk of a car accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Toyota Camry recall on November 18, indicating that a defective vacuum pump could lead to loss of braking assist technology, making it difficult to stop the vehicle. However, no accidents or injuries have been reported in connection with the recall.

The recalled Toyota Camry vehicles have a vane cap inside the vacuum pump, which may break and lead to a malfunction of the pump. Once the cap breaks, this can lead to sudden loss of braking assist, which is designed to detect extreme rates of pedal pressure and apply full braking force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance possible.

The vacuum pump contains a vane that rotates inside the pump body to supply vacuum to the brake booster. A cap on each end of the vane helps the vane maintain contact with the pump body as it rotates. The caps may prematurely wear, so when the vehicle is operated under certain driving conditions, like frequent braking or long periods of idling, the cap can become stuck between the vane and the pump housing. This can cause the cap or other components connected to the pump to break. If that happens the vacuum pump would no longer supply vacuum to the brake booster.

Continuing to use the brakes in the vehicle after the caps or other components break can deplete the brake assist which can lead to increased braking effort. This can eventually lead to reduced brake performance and loss of braking while driving, which increases the risk of an auto accident.

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The recall includes Toyota Camry models built between January 16, 2017, and September 13, 2018. Other Toyota or Lexus vehicles, including hybrid vehicles, sold in the US use a different vacuum pump design and are not affected by the recall. An estimated 227,490 vehicles are affected.

Toyota has indicated dealers will replace the vacuum pump free of charge. Owner notification letters will be mailed December 16, 2021, to inform owners of the recall and the instructions on how to repair the problem.

Owners can also contact Toyota customer service at 800-331-4331 with questions regarding the recall or visit the NHTSA recall site for more information.

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