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Toyota recalls another 412,000 cars

Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:30 am
by MSI
July 29, 2010: Toyota recalls 412,000 cars in US, mostly Avalons
Toyota is recalling 412,000 passenger cars, mostly the Avalon model, in the U.S. for steering problems in which three accidents have been reported, the automaker said Thursday. The 373,000 Avalons being recalled range from the 2000 model year through to 2004 and have improper casting of the steering lock bar — a component for the steering system — causing cracks to develop on the surface.
In some cases, the crack can cause the lock bar to break, potentially leading to a crash if the steering wheel locks, the world's No. 1 automaker by car sales said. No injuries have been reported from the accidents that may be caused by the defect, it said.
Also being recalled in the U.S. are 39,000 Lexus luxury model LX 470s for the 2003-2007 model years because of a steering shaft problem, which is different from the Avalon steering problem, according to Toyota.
See the full story Toyota recalls 412,000 cars in US, mostly Avalons

Re: Toyota recalls another 412,000 cars

Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:33 am
by MSI
Here's the official Toyota announcement on the recall:
Toyota Announces Intent to Voluntarily Recall Certain Toyota Avalons to Replace Steering Column Bracket
TORRANCE, Calif., July 29, 2010 -- Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced that it intends to conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 373,000 2000-2004 Model Year Toyota Avalons sold in the United States to address the possibility that the vehicle’s steering lock bar could break under certain conditions. No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in this recall.
This action follows an announcement made by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan on July 29, 2010.
Because of improper casting of the steering lock bar, which is a component of the steering interlock system, there is a possibility that a minute crack may develop on the surface. Such a crack may expand over a long period of repeated lock and unlock operations, and eventually the lock bar could break. If this occurs, the interlock system may become difficult to unlock when stationary.
If the vehicle while being driven is steered to the right with sufficient lateral acceleration, a broken and loose lock bar may move toward the steering shaft. If the engagement hole in the shaft happens to line up at the specific time the broken lock bar has moved, this could cause the steering wheel lock bar to engage, locking the steering wheel, and increasing the risk of a crash.
Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America, said, "Toyota is continuing to work diligently to address safety issues wherever they arise and to strengthen our global quality assurance operations so that Toyota owners can be confident in the safety of their vehicles."
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.
Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at http://www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.
MEDIA CONTACT:
Toyota Safety and Quality Communications*
Brian R. Lyons (310) 468-2552