Toyota Finally Figured Out Why Its Twin-Turbo V6s Have Been Failing

The twin0turbo V6 of the Lexus LX600 - Image: Lexus
The twin0turbo V6 of the Lexus LX600 - Image: Lexus

The latest generation of the Toyota Tundra and the Lexus LX improved over the previous models in a big way: Toyota’s ancient, gas-guzzling 5.7-liter V8 was dropped in favor of a brand new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6. With up to 409 horsepower (389 horsepower in the Tundra) it makes more power and gets better gas mileage than the V8 it replaced. Unfortunately, within a year or so of the new engine debuting in the Toyota Tundra and Lexus LX, some owners beganreporting problems. They all had one thing in common: engine failure. Now, as The Drive reports, Toyota finally found a reason for the failures and is issuing a recall.

In a release from the automaker, it mentions that during production, machining debris may not have been removed from the engine. In affected vehicles, this can cause “potential engine knocking, engine rough running, engine no start and/or a loss of motive power.” Former Jalop José Rodriguez Jr. got Toyota to give more detail of how exactly this engine failure can happen:

The carmaker says the recall applies to models “with a specific V35A engine that contains crankshaft main bearings which allow the crankshaft to rotate within the engine assembly while running. During a specific production period, there is a possibility that engine machining debris of a particular size and amount may not have been cleared from the engine during manufacturing and subsequently contaminated the engine assembly during the production process.”

Toyota goes on to explain more in detail, adding that “...for these engines in the subject vehicles, the pressure on the main bearings due to the engine configuration is such that, if the aforementioned machining debris adheres to the bearings and operation of the engine continues at higher loads over time, failure of the bearings may occur. This can lead to potential engine knocking, engine rough running, engine no start and/or an engine stall. In the subject vehicles, an engine stall while driving leads to a loss of motive power.


Because of this defect, Toyota is recalling 102,000 Tundras and Lexus LXs. It should be noted that the hybrid version of this engine that’s optional in the Tundra and standard on the Sequoia is not a part of this recall.

If you’re the owner of one of the affected vehicles, it might be awhile before you’re on the road again. While Toyota has figured out the reason the engine failures happened, it hasn’t exactly figured out a fix for the problem. Hopefully the company figures things out soon. Toyota says an official notice will go to owners by the end of June.

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