Line of Toyota SUVs, some with issues of stalling and no-starts

Stalling and No-Starts in Toyota Vehicles

By: Michael Rosenstein

Toyota is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world, producing more than 10 million vehicles each year. Over the years, CCA’s attorneys have come across a plethora of complaints in regard to Stalling and No-Starts in Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Recently, Toyota has told its customers that the issue has been investigated and is being taken care of by recalling as many as 1.8 million cars for the fuel pump issue.

What are some common signs of a defective Fuel Pump?

Before getting into the issue, let’s first understand what a fuel pump is. As the term suggests, a fuel pump is simply an automotive device that pumps/pushes fuel from one area to the other.  Specifically, the fuel pump transmits fuel from the gas tank to the engine, where it is further pressurized and ignited to run the engine. 

Some of the frequently occurring symptoms of a defective fuel pump are as follows:

  • Difficulty starting the vehicle;
  • Vehicle stalling;
  • A constant noise that comes from the fuel tank;
  • A sputtering engine; and
  • Poor fuel economy. 

Toyota customers have encountered these and other issues, which can be traced back to defective fuel pumps.  Simply put, if the fuel doesn’t get from the tank to the engine, then the engine doesn’t run.  If the car is off, this results in a “no-start” condition or difficulty starting.  If the vehicle is running, this results in stalling or engine sputtering. 

Toyota vehicle owners have complained of numerous issues with their cars due to defective fuel pumps. A Toyota Tacoma customer described the issue; “This car has shut off twice while driving. We are now stuck with a car that we don’t feel safe in”. Another customer’s complaint regarding the same model stated, “Driving about 60 mph on the freeway, when the vehicle started to lose power, started bucking and then stalled. The vehicle would not start”.

What Are Toyota and the Government Doing About the Problem?

As per the NHTSA Defect Information Report, the vehicles are equipped with a faulty fuel pump of low pressure. It contains an impeller that could interfere with the fuel pump body and result in rough engine runs and stalling. The report also mentions that in most cases, vehicle stall occurs at low speeds. However, in rare cases, stalling could occur at higher speeds and turn out to be fatal.

Below is a list of Toyota vehicles that have faced fuel pump issues:

  • 2013-2015 Lexus LS 460
  • 2013-2014 Lexus GS 350
  • 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser
  • 2014 Lexus IS-F
  • 2014-2015 Toyota 4Runner
  • 2014-2015 Toyota Land Cruiser
  • 2014-2015 Lexus GX 460
  • 2014-2015 Lexus IS 350
  • 2014-2015 Lexus LX 570
  • 2015 Lexus NX 200t
  • 2015 Lexus RC 350
  • 2017 Lexus IS 200t
  • 2015 Lexus RC 200t
  • 2017-2019 Toyota Sienna
  • 2017-2019 Lexus RX 350
  • 2018 Lexus GS 300
  • 2018-2019 Toyota Avalon
  • 2018-2019 Toyota Camry
  • 2018-2019 Toyota Corolla
  • 2018-2019 Toyota Highlander
  • 2018-2019 Toyota Sequoia
  • 2018-2019 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2018-2019 Toyota Tundra
  • 2018-2019 Lexus ES 350
  • 2018-2019 Lexus GS 350
  • 2018-2019 Lexus IS 300
  • 2018-2019 Lexus IS 350
  • 2018-2019 Lexus LC 500
  • 2018-2019 Lexus LC 500h
  • 2018-2019 Lexus LS 500
  • 2018-2019 Lexus LS 500h
  • 2018-2019 Lexus RC 300
  • 2018-2019 Lexus RC 350
  • 2018-2019 Lexus RX 350L

Initially, Toyota issued a recall notice for all the affected models from the 2018-2019 years. Later, the issue was updated and included models dating back to 2014 model year.  The automaker also announced a temporary pause on any remaining 2018-2019 models until the recall process has been completed. Currently, Toyota proposes replacement fuel pumps at no charge to the customer as a viable solution.  However, many Toyota vehicle owners have complained that their vehicles continue to exhibit powertrain and starting issues, notwithstanding the recall.

What Legal Actions Have Resulted from Toyota’s Fuel Pump Problem?

Several lawsuits have been filed against Toyota as a result of the stalling/no-start fuel pump problem. A lead plaintiff in a recent class action has also alleged the occurrence of discrepancies in the recall; “Approximately 700,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles were recalled because of a safety defect; however, many more vehicles are allegedly affected.  The plaintiff in the class action the dangers he/she is exposed to “The Fuel Pump Defect in the Class Vehicles exposes occupants and others to extreme danger, or even death,” The complaint also reiterates on the fact that there are no warning signs before the vehicle starts stalling or experiences pump issues.

What Can I Do if I’ve Been Impacted by Stalling/No-Starts/Performance Issues in My Toyota? 

If your Toyota or Lexus vehicle has been the subject of excessive stalling, no-starts, or had other performance issues, California’s strong lemon laws are here to protect you.  CCA’s expert attorneys are well aware of the issues plaguing Toyota vehicles, understand the lemon laws better than anyone else, and are ready to take on your case at no charge to you. If you own a Toyota with excessive stalling/no-starts or other performance issues, do not hesitate to call our experts for a free consultation: (833) LEMON-FIRM.

About the Author
Sepehr Daghighian is a partner with CCA that is well-versed in all aspects of lemon-law litigation. A 2005 graduate of Loyola Law School, Mr. Daghighian has been practicing litigation throughout the state of California for over 13-years. In this time, Mr. Daghighian has advocated on behalf of California consumers in hundreds of lemon law cases throughout our great state. Mr. Daghighian has also successfully tried numerous such cases to verdict in both Federal and State Court.