Another huge Toyota recall. Nothing important, really…just POTENTIAL LOSS OF STEERING CONTROL. Okay, I guess that is kinda important.
On its website, Toyota reports that it is recalling 373,000 model year 2000-2004 Toyota Avalons in the United States. Apparently, the steering lock bar–a component of the steering interlock system, is defective. A tiny crack could develop, which, over time, could enlarge and eventually cause the bar to break.
In certain conditions, this could result in a steering wheel becoming locked during a fast turn, and (in the words of Toyota’s press release) “increasing the risk of a crash.” (Someone in Toyota’s PR department seems to have mastered the art of understatement.)
As part of the recall, Toyota will replace the steering column bracket on involved vehicles, a procedure that takes about two hours to complete depending on the dealer’s schedule. Toyota will notify owners by first class mail beginning in late August 2010 to bring their vehicles to their local Toyota dealer for replacement of the steering column bracket at no charge to the customer. (Toyota July 29, 2010 recall notice)
Information and some answers are available to Toyota customers at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. HensonFuerst recommends calling to request an expedited recall service–we wouldn’t want our friends or family to wait for snail mail to start the process to get the steering system fixed.
LEXUS LX 470
In a separate notice, Toyota also announced the recall of about 39,000 model year 2003-2007 Lexus LX 470 vehicles. This is for a different problem with the steering system.
Lexus has determined that the construction of the steering shaft on involved LX 470s is such that the snap ring on the shaft may disengage when the vehicle experiences an unusually severe impact to the front wheels, such as striking a deep pothole. If the snap ring becomes disengaged and the steering wheel is then repeatedly turned to the full locked position, the steering shaft may disengage over time. (Lexus recall notice)
Lexus will begin sending out letters to owners in mid-August. Again, HensonFuerst recommends calling to request an expedited recall service–the steering system is too important to let wait. Detailed information about this recall is available through Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-25 LEXUS or 1-800-255-3987 or at www.lexus.com/recall.
If you have been involved in a car wreck, and you believe a mechanical failure may be to blame, call the attorneys of HensonFuerst at 1-800-4LAW-MED. Our team of investigators can help get to the root cause of the accident. If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.