Toyota recalls 1.5 million cars worldwide to fix a brake fluid leak

Toyota today announced a safety recall of more than 1.5 million vehicles worldwide to fix a brake fluid leak that it warned can gradually diminish braking performance.Toyota would voluntarily recall 740,000 cars in the United States and 600,000 in Japan to fix the problem. It was also recalling 50,000 autos in Europe, 60,000 in China, 30,000 in Australia and 50,000 in other Asian nations. The move is to repair a flaw in which a small amount of the brake fluid could slowly leak from the brake master cylinder, which would lead the brake warning lamp to illuminate, Toyota said. If at this point the brake fluid is not replaced, the driver will begin to notice a spongy or soft brake pedal feel and braking performance may gradually decline.

The autos affected in the United States are the 2005-2006 models of the Avalon, the 2004 through 2006 non-hybrid models of the Highlander, the Lexus RX330, and the 2006 Lexus GS300, IS250 and IS350 vehicles. US owners of affected vehicles will be notified by early November.