Toyota Recalls Older Prius Cars To Fix Steering : Toyota Motor Corp. says it will recall certain first-generation Prius hybrid cars to fix a potential problem with their electric power steering systems.
The car maker says the recall includes about 52,000 vehicles from the 2001 through 2003 model years that were sold in the U.S. Worldwide the company is recalling 106,000 Prius vehicles.
The Prius’ problem stems from the nuts that fasten a part called the pinion shaft in the steering gear-box assembly. If the driver turns the steering wheel vigorously and repeatedly to the full-lock position – or the point where it cannot be moved further – the nuts can loosen over time. Drivers who continue to operate their vehicles in this manner could eventually notice that it is taking more effort to turn the steering wheel to the left.
Under the recall, Toyota dealers will install upgraded nuts free of charge. The company says the repair will take about four hours depending on how busy the dealer’s service department is, and that it will notify owners about the recall beginning next month.
In a separate recall the company said it would recall of 34 Venza all-wheel-drive cars and 16 Sienna all-wheel-drive minivans to replace front right-hand drive-shafts that could break because of insufficient heat treatment during manufacture. These vehicles are 2011 models that were recently produced.
The company sais it will begin notifying owners this month. Customers seeking recall information can contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 or www.toyota.com/recall.