Toyota is recalling some 2018 Camrys for a bizarre engine issue.
The recall affects 1,730 cars built between December and mid-January of this year. The issue has to do with the engine, and seems like an issue you’d probably catch a bit sooner: the pistons are too big.
During the assembly process, some pistons were installed in a few (relatively speaking) Camrys that were larger than specification. This can cause all manner of havoc for the engine, including running rough, emitting smoke, creating a god-awful racket and even potentially stalling.
Warning lights would turn on shortly after the car begins operation and the driver would likely notice a distinct lack of power as the engine couldn’t achieve high enough RPMs to produce the rated number of horses.
It seems most likely that Toyota dealers haven’t even sold these cars, as nobody in their right might would purchase a car with such issues. But then again, there are so few of these cars affected that Toyota dealers might not even know which cars are the lemons yet.
For the few owners of Camrys that didn’t notice their engine operated like a lawnmower and that their check-engine light had been on since leaving the lot, Toyota will issue a notification via mail and fix the issue free of charge.
Fixing the issue, in this case, involves replacing the whole frickin’ engine. Not an easy task, but it’s easier than replacing the pistons.
As for how this issue could possibly have happened, apparently, it’s a lot harder to spot pistons that are too big because the tolerances of Toyota engines are so small that the human eye can’t actually see the difference between a too-large and a too-small piston.
"The tolerance for something like this is so minute that the human eye could never detect [it]," says Toyota safety spokesperson Victor Vanov to CNET.
This isn’t the first recall the 2018 Camry had to endure. Earlier in February, the V6 model had a larger recall (about 12,000 cars) that suffered incorrectly connected fuel lines.