Toyota recalls, again
Toyota announced yet another recall this morning, this time involving the first generation Prius. Here in the United States, 52,000 2001 through 2003 Prius may experience a problem with electric power steering pinion shaft attachment nuts. Repeated hard turning to full-lock position may loosen the nuts securing the pinion shaft in the steering gear box assembly, eventually resulting in significant increased steering effort when making a left turn.
Owner notification letters will be mailed in July. Here's the full press release from Toyota:
Toyota Announces Voluntary Safety Recall of Certain Prius VehiclesSeparately, Toyota Will Recall 50 Venza AWD and Sienna AWD Vehicles to Replace the Front Right-Hand DriveshaftTorrance, Calif., June 1, 2011 – Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS), today announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 52,000 2001 through 2003 Prius vehicles sold in the U.S. to replace the electric power steering pinion shaft attachment nuts. This announcement is for U.S. vehicles included in Toyota Motor Corporation’s global recall of 106,000 vehicles.If the steering wheel is repeatedly and strongly turned to the full-lock position, there is a possibility the nuts securing the pinion shaft in the steering gear box assembly may become loose. If the vehicle is continuously operated in this condition, over time, the customer will gradually notice significant increased steering effort when making a left turn.Toyota dealers will install improved nuts that secure the pinion shaft at no charge to the vehicle owner. The repair will take approximately 4 hours depending upon the dealer’s work schedule.Owner notification letters by first class mail will begin in early July, 2011.The separate recall announced by TMS involves 34 Venza AWD and 16 Sienna AWD vehicles to replace an insufficiently heat treated front right-hand driveshaft. All of these vehicles are recently produced 2011 model year. Only 38 are expected to have an insufficiently heat-treated driveshaft.Due to insufficient heat treatment, there is a possibility that the front right-hand driveshaft may break. If this occurs, engine power will not be transmitted to the wheels and the vehicle will coast to a stop.No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in these recalls and the driveshaft recall only involves vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.Owner notification letters by first class mail will begin in mid June, 2011.Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.