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Still haunted by the ghost of the 14 million vehicles recalled for faulty floor mats and brake pedals, Japanese automaker Toyota Motors announced today that it would be recalling another 3 million cars – including 67,000 Prius models – due to a defect in the steering column.
According to Toyota, the problem originates in a steering shaft extension which, if turned hard to the right or left at low speeds, may wear away the splines of the steering column. This could potentially cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle, though no related accidents have been reported yet. Toyota says that even in such circumstances, the vehicle will remain safe to drive.
In a second, entirely separate issue, Toyota has recalled an additional 350,000 Priuses (Prii?) for a faulty water pump which may cause the system’s electric motor to short out on the road. A Toyota statement reads that “in limited instances, the electric power supply circuit fuse may open, causing the hybrid system to stop while the vehicle is being driven.”
This recall might be another blow to Toyota’s once-pristine reputation for quality. This news follows a month after a recall of 7.4 million cars worldwide for defective power window switches that were a fire hazard. – the biggest recall since Ford pulled 8 million vehicles off the road in ‘96.
The issue affects Prius and Toyota models from 2004 – 2009. Repairs will be carried out free of charge, and owners will be contacted if their vehicle is affected. To our Toyota dealerships – expect to field questions from customers about these recalls. Live chat can be a great way to do this. In 2010, ActivEngage launched a program to help dealers communicate recall information from their website. You can email us or call us at 800-441-7779 for more information.
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