Toyota Motor Corp. is once again issuing a recall, this time announcing the recall of more than 420,000 vehicles in the United States in connection with potential steering problems. The problem is involved with the “crankshaft pulley on the V6 engine” and affects over 550,000 vehicles worldwide – 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles. According to Toyota, if not corrected, the outer ring of the engine’s crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise or a warning signal to light up. The belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley, making it suddenly more difficult to turn the driving wheel. This latest recall includes the 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara, the 2004 Avalon and the 2006 Highlander HV. The Lexus recall affects the 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330 and 2006 RX400h.
This is not the first Toyota recall dealing with steering problems. In 2006, Toyota recalled Prius models to repair a flaw that could cause drivers to lose control of steering, and in 2010 Toyota recalled over 373,000 Avalons because the vehicle’s steering lock bar could break under certain conditions. September 2009, Toyota has recalled more than 13 million vehicles. This past February, Toyota announced the recall of 2.17 million vehicles to correct mechanical defects that could cause them to accelerate out of control. Despite these recalls, Toyota owners are still having problems with steering issues. Recently, a Prius owner reported that the steering made a grinding sound and then broke completely, sheering off in the woman’s hands. This happened despite the fact that her car had been recalled and “repaired” by the dealer. Toyota owners experiencing problems are to have the issue checked out by an authorized dealer as soon as possible.