Toyota recently announced that it has discovered a problem in the power steering systems of many Toyota vehicles. Since a power system defect greatly increases the chances of a car accident, Toyota has recalled well more than half a million vehicles.
The recalled vehicles include the 2001 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara, the 2004 Avalon and the 2006 Highlander HV. Also included in the recall are 137,000 Lexus vehicles, including the 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330 and the 2006 RX400h.
The defect has been identified as the crankshaft pulley on V6 engines that are used in certain Toyota vehicles. If the outer ring of the crankshaft's pulley becomes misaligned with the inner ring, the vehicles' power steering unit may fall off, leading to steering difficulties.
Toyota's reputation has declined in recent years, owing to the recall of millions of vehicles due to acceleration problems. Toyota has had a public perception of trying to cover up those problems, which has led to mistrust among many automobile consumers. Toyota is now trying to actively communicate with its customers in order to inform them of any potential defects, make necessary repairs and prevent any major accidents before they happen.
Toyota is currently ordering the necessary parts to repair the pulley system for all recalled vehicles and will inform the public in January of the repair procedures. Toyota urges drivers who are hearing any abnormal noises coming from their vehicles or experiencing current steering issues to get their cars checked out immediately for possible defects.
Source: ABC News, "Toyota recalls 550,000 cars for steering issue" Nov. 9, 2011