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TOYOTA MOTOR SALES, USA, INC.

Engine Oil Gel -- Customer Support Program

Question
What is Toyota's Customer Support Program for engine oil gel?

Answer

A very small number of Toyota owners have reported engine damage from a condition known as oil gelling or sludge. Toyota implemented a Customer Support Program for covered vehicles that have experienced engine oil gel.
Engine oil gel occurs when old, dirty engine oil becomes thick and no longer adequately lubricates the engine and, if not corrected, can lead to severe engine damage. Performing regular engine oil and engine oil filter changes will prevent engine oil gel.

Symptoms of engine oil gel may include:


MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light)/Check Engine Light “On”
Blue smoke from the tailpipe
Excessive oil consumption
If you are not experiencing symptoms and are maintaining the vehicle as recommended in the Scheduled Maintenance Guide or Owner's Manual Supplement, no further action is required. We simply encourage you to continue to perform engine oil and engine oil filter changes as recommended. It is important to change the engine oil in your vehicles.

The Customer Support Program assists customers who have made a reasonable effort to maintain their vehicles and have engine repairs due to engine oil gel. The Customer Support Program will provide coverage for engine oil gel related damage for 8 years from the date of first sale or lease of a vehicle with no mileage limitation.

For normal driving conditions, Toyota recommends changing the engine oil and engine oil filter at a minimum of every 7,500 miles or 6 months, whichever occurs first.

For special operating conditions, Toyota recommends changing the engine oil and engine oil filter at a minimum of every 5,000 miles or 4 months, whichever occurs first.

The Toyota Scheduled Maintenance Guide or Owner's Manual Supplement can help you determine which maintenance interval is appropriate for your driving conditions.

If your vehicle has symptoms of engine oil gel, please contact the Customer Relations Manager at your local Toyota dealership for further assistance. If your vehicle develops these symptoms in the future, please contact your local Toyota dealership to arrange for repairs.

The following vehicles have engines covered by the Customer Support Program:

MODEL MODEL YEAR
Avalon 1997-2002
Camry  
  • 4 Cylinder
1997-2001
  • V6
1997-2002
Celica 1997-1999
Highlander  
  • 4 Cylinder
Not involved
  • V6
2000-2002
Sienna 1997-2002
Solara  
  • 4 Cylinder
1999-2001
  • V6
1999-2002

Engine Oil Gel -- Prevention

Question
How do I prevent engine oil gel?

Answer

Performing regular engine oil changes at the recommended intervals as outlined in the Toyota Scheduled Maintenance Guide or Owner's Manual Supplement will prevent engine oil gel.
For model years 1996 to present the recommended engine oil change interval is listed below. For model years 1995 and earlier please refer to your Owner's Manual.

For normal driving conditions Toyota recommends changing the engine oil and engine oil filter at a minimum of every 7,500 miles or 6 months, whichever occurs first. This engine oil change interval requires changing your engine oil a minimum of twice a year.

For special operating conditions Toyota recommends changing the engine oil and engine oil filter at a minimum of every 5,000 miles or 4 months, whichever occurs first. This engine oil change interval requires changing your engine oil a minimum of three times a year.

Special Operating Conditions include the following:

  • Driving on unpaved or dusty roads
  • Towing a trailer or using a camper or car-top carrier
  • Repeated short trips of less than five miles in temperatures below freezing
  • Driving on rough, muddy, or salt-covered roads
  • Extensive idling or low-speed driving for long distances as in heavy commercial use, such as delivery, taxi, or patrol car


If you need further clarification on engine oil change intervals please contact the Customer Relations Manager at your local Toyota dealership. The dealership may also recommend additional or more frequent service, depending on local road and environmental conditions, and individual driving style.

Each claim is individually reviewed to determine if reimbursement is appropriate. If you have paid for previous repairs you feel may be related to this condition, please contact them at 1-888-802-9436 for further assistance.

Engine Oil Gel -- Reimbursement Procedures for the Customer Support Program

Question
How can I get reimbursed for my previous engine oil gel repair under the Customer Support Program?

Answer

If your car suffered damage from engine oil gel and you paid for repairs or had incidental expenses, please mail or fax a copy of as many of the following items as possible to the address below:

  • A repair order for oil sludge damage repair work performed
  • Proof-of-payment for the engine repairs, such as a copy of both sides of the cancelled check or credit card receipt
  • Proof-of-ownership of the vehicle, such as the registration or title
  • Evidence of reasonable maintenance such as work orders, receipts, or other appropriate service records
  • Current mailing address and daytime phone number
    Incidental expense receipts (i.e. rental car)


If you do not have these items, please include a statement explaining your individual situation and why you do not have the particular item.

Mailing address:

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
19001 South Western Avenue
Mail Drop WC10
Torrance, CA 90509
888-802-9436
310-381-7756 (fax)

Toyota will evaluate each request to see that reimbursement is appropriate. You should include your telephone number in the event that we need to contact you regarding your claim. Processing time is usually 6-8 weeks from the date your request is received.

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