Auto giant Toyota has announced the recall of about 550,000 vehicles because of a potential steering wheel defect. According to an abclocal.go.com article, although there have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the steering wheel issue, Toyota has noted receiving 79 reports of the defect as far back as 2007.
The steering wheel problem consists of the outer ring of the engine’s crankshaft pulley potentially becoming misaligned with the inner ring, leading to noise or the illumination of a warning signal. If this problem goes unfixed, it is possible for the belt for the power steering pump to become detached from the pulley, causing it to unexpectedly be more difficult for the driver to turn the steering wheel and control the vehicle.
Approximately 283,200 Toyota brand cars and 137,000 Lexus vehicles being recalled in the United States include:
- 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara;
- 2004 Avalon;
- 2006 Highlander HV;
- 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330; and
- 2006 RX400h.
An additional 100,000 vehicles, including certain Alphard, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid and some Lexus models, have been recalled in Asia, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and the Middle East.
Consumers are being advised to report any unfamiliar or odd noises heard coming from their vehicle’s engine compartment to a Toyota or Lexus dealer so the issue can be inspected. It is also recommended for owners of any of the recalled vehicles to visit an authorized dealer to have the crankshaft pulley evaluated and replaced, if needed, for free. Toyota will start mailing recall notices in January of 2012 when an adequate amount of replacement parts are produced.
Any vehicle recall is never good news for auto companies. However, Toyota has been in damage-control mode ever since millions of vehicles were recalled for problems with sudden acceleration.
Vehicle manufacturers are legally obligated to design and manufacture vehicles that are safe and free of any flaws that could cause an accident, injury, or death. As a law firm with the legal experience and resources to build effective cases against major companies and hold them liable for neglect and oversight, Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley protects the rights of individuals who otherwise wouldn’t have had a shot at justice. Our Los Angeles, CA products liability attorneys understand the financial, physical, and psychological repercussions of auto accidents, especially those caused by auto manufacturing defects and design flaws. To learn more about how we can help, call 213-514-8332 today for a free consultation.