Last week, Toyota announced that it would recall 52,000 of its 2001 to 2003 Prius Hybrid cars.
According to Toyota:
“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.”
The defect has led to at least one reported car collision. Toyota intends to send the recall letters out later this month and estimates that the repair will take approximately four hours for a Toyota dealer to complete.
Over the last two years, Toyota has announced recalls affecting a staggering 14 million vehicles. The defects underlying these recalls have caused numerous deaths and collisions, and various class-action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of those injured victims. But in addition to those physically harmed by defects in Toyota vehicles, many owners allege that they have been harmed because their vehicles have been the subject to recalls. As one would expect, they believe that consumers will be hesitant to purchase a Toyota that has been recalled, which depresses the resale value of those vehicles. The continued release of information demonstrating that defects in Toyota’s vehicles have caused car wrecks helps those claimants’ contentions.