Toyota Recalls 420,000 Models for Possible Steering Flaw

Toyota is recalling approximately 420,000 of some of its most popular vehicles, as it has been determined that engine issue may cause an unexpected increase in steering effort.

In a news release Wednesday, Toyota said that a problem with the crankshaft pulley could allow the belt for the power-steering pump to come off of the pulley, causing “a sudden increase in steering effort,” though they are not aware of any accidents relating to the problem. The automaker said it would replace the crankshaft pulley on the V-6 engine on the:

  • 2004 Avalon
  • 2004-5 Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara
  • 2006 Highlander HV
  • 2004-5 Lexus ES 350 and RX 330
  • 2006 RX 400h hybrid

In a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Toyota said it received its first reports of the problem in 2007, and suspected the cause to be an inadequate use of adhesive on the crankshaft pulley. Toyota continued to “monitor” the issue, and confirmed the cause of the problem earlier this month.

While Toyota described the recall as voluntary, once a manufacturer knows of a safety problem, it has no choice but to inform the safety agency within five working days of its plan for a recall or face civil penalties. That makes sense to me, it just seems like the right thing to do.

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