Toyota Motor North America is recalling about 52,000 vehicles over possible coolant leaks. The recall covers 2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Camry, Camry Hybrid and Lexus ES 300h vehicles as well as 2019-20 Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid vehicles.
The recall includes about 44,000 vehicles in the U.S., Toyota said in a statement Thursday.
Affected vehicles may be equipped with an engine block that was manufactured incorrectly, the release said, and can cause an internal and/or external coolant leak "during normal engine operation."
"This can lead to engine noise, engine smoke, warning lights/malfunction indicator illumination, an audible chime sounding, and/or, in some cases, engine overheating and possible internal mechanical engine damage," Toyota said in the release.
If the leak occurs in a conventional gasoline vehicle, it said, "the vehicle could stall while driving at higher speeds" without warning, increasing the risk of a crash. In both hybrid and gasoline vehicles, engine damage from a coolant leak could cause engine oil to leak, "which, in the presence of an ignition source, can lead to an increased risk of fire."
A spokeswoman for Toyota declined to comment when asked whether any accidents or injuries had been reported stemming from the defect.
Owners will be notified of the recall by early April, Toyota said in the release.
"Toyota and Lexus dealers will inspect the engine block casting serial number to determine if it is involved. In the cases where an involved engine block is identified, dealers will replace the engine including the engine block with a new one at no cost to customers."