— Lexus and Toyota brake squeal has caused a Lexus driver to file a class action lawsuit which alleges the brake systems on the following models are defective.
- 2016-2019 Lexus LC500
- 2016-2019 Lexus RC F
- 2016-2019 Lexus GS F
- 2013-2018 Toyota Corolla
The lawsuit doesn't say the brakes fail to stop the vehicle, but the class action still alleges the high-friction brakes are defective due to loud squealing noise.
According to the Lexus website, consumers are warned that brake noise/squeal may result due to the characteristics of the braking materials and design of the brake pads.
California plaintiff Hovsep Hagopian says he leased a 2019 Lexus LC with high-friction brake pads that squeal "beyond expectations of an ordinary consumer."
In April 2020, Lexus sent dealerships technical service bulletin (TSB) L-SB-0013-20 for 2018–2020 Lexus LC500 and LC500h vehicles equipped with high-friction brake pads.
Lexus says the brakes are specifically designed for "superior braking performance and response," but as with other high-performance brakes, the Lexus brakes can make squealing or squeaking noise.
"For customers who find these characteristics objectionable, brake pads with alternative material are now available as service parts." — Lexus TSB L-SB-0013-20
Lexus told its dealers to inform LC owners that any "changes made to the brake pad material may result in altered and possibly reduced braking performance and/or feeling under certain driving conditions, including track use."
Dealers were also told to let Lexus owners know it "is an inherent characteristic of materials and design of brake pads used in this high-performance brake system that brake squeal/squeak noise may result."
Lexus dealers were also reminded the brake repair is covered under the basic warranty which "is in effect for 48 months or 50,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the vehicle’s in-service date."
But according to the class action, the Lexus bulletin is really a "secret warranty" because "by extending its new car warranty to cover brake system replacement or repair to some customers and not others, TOYOTA has expanded or extended the consumer's express warranty beyond its stated limit."
The plaintiff alleges Toyota and Lexus won't do anything about squealing brakes unless customers loudly complain. The plaintiff also alleges Toyota and Lexus have "engaged in a nationwide conspiracy to cover up" the alleged brake defects by refusing to document visits by vehicle owners who complain about squeaky brakes.
The class action lawsuit further alleges the brake squeal has caused losses and damages to owners and lessees and reduced the values of the Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
In addition, the plaintiff alleges Toyota and Lexus have "consciously disregarded the rights and safety" of vehicle owners and the general public.
The same law firm that sued Toyota/Lexus over brake squeal also filed a class action lawsuit against Porsche in February due to squeaky brakes.
The Lexus and Toyota brake squeal class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California: Hovsep Hagopian, v. Toyota Motor North America, Inc., et al.
The plaintiff is represented by the Margarian Law Firm.