Unusual recall from the Japanese giant.
Toyota is recalling a small batch of certain 2018 model year Camrys for a perplexing and rather serious engine problem. Some 1,730 examples of the ever-popular midsize sedan are being called back for engines that somehow left the factory with pistons that are too large for the cylinder heads. The out-of-spec parts could "cause the vehicle to run rough, create an abnormal sound, emit smoke from the exhaust, and illuminate warning lights and messages."
There's also a risk the accidentally oversized pistons could cause the engine to drastically lose power or stall completely. Toyota says the issue stems from a particular production period in late December 2017 through to mid-January 2018 in which pistons were manufactured with a slightly larger diameter than spec. Complaints regarding a lack of acceleration and a sluggish feeling powertrain begin appearing on the NHTSA consumer complaint page at the end of January. The company hasn't actually specified if the incorrect pistons were installed in the Camry's 2.5-liter four-cylinder of the 3.5-liter V6, but it did announce it will begin notifying affected customers by the end of May at the latest.
Dealers will be tasked with inspecting the production date codes of the pistons. Should they find a match, instead of simply replacing the faulty parts, the company will install a brand new engine at no cost to the customer. It's the second significant recall in quick succession for the 2018 Camry. Nearly 12,000 V6 Camrys were recalled in February for incorrectly installed fuel lines that could cause a leak and subsequently catch fire. The new Camry has been on sale since mid-2017 and is offered in 11 different flavors split between three powertrain options. Pricing starts at $23,495 and can wander all the way to $34,950 for the XSE V6.