Affecting approximately 1750 Lexus RX400h models built between June 2006 and December 2008, the first recall relates to a component of the luxury SUV’s petrol-electric hybrid system that, if overheated, may result in a loss of vehicle power or loss of drive.
According to Lexus, when towing or driven at high load, the variable-voltage electric inverter’s intelligent power module – intended to increase reliability of the inverter's circuitry – may overheat resulting in internal solder being damaged.
If damaged, engine warning lights will appear on the instrument panel and the vehicle will enter a fail-safe mode allowing the vehicle to travel a short distance with reduced vehicle power.
“In the worst case scenario, the vehicle may stop while driving,” Lexus said in a statement.
The local arm of the Japanese manufacturer says owners of affected vehicles who haven’t had the engine warning lights illuminate may continue driving their vehicle, however, are advised to avoid towing or rapid acceleration situations until the vehicle has been inspected. Owners who have had the warning lights illuminate are advised to stop driving and contact a Lexus dealer.
To rectify the RX400h fault, Lexus will replace the intelligent power module inside the hybrid inverter, taking approximately five hours, at no cost to customers.
The local recall is part of a global campaign that has seen Toyota Motor Corp recall around 141,000 vehicles in North America, 37,000 in Europe and 15,000 in Japan.
The second recall encompasses approximately 750 Lexus IS350 sedans built between April 2010 and July 2011.
Relating to the securing bolts of the 3.5-litre V6 engine's variable valve timing gear potentially loosening, Lexus stresses that the recall measure is a preventive action.
If loosened, the car maker says an “engine rattle noise” may be heard, which in the worst case could result in the engine stalling while driving.
Again, while Lexus advises that owners may continue to drive their vehicles, if an engine rattle noise is experienced, they should contact an affiliated dealer.
Lexus says in all impacted vehicles, the IS350 fault will be rectified by replacing the variable valve timing gear device, taking approximately seven hours to complete, at no cost to customers.
For each instance, Lexus is contacting owners of the affected vehicles by mail with requests made to make appointments at Lexus dealers to clear the recalls.
Lexus Australia says there have been no accidents or injuries reported locally as a result of either fault.