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Toyota recalls 412,000 cars in U.S., 16,000 in Japan

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Toyota recalls 412,000 cars in U.S., 16,000 in Japan

Updated 30m ago

By Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

TOKYO — Toyota is recalling 412,000 passenger cars, mostly the Avalon model, in the U.S., and another 16,420 vehicles in Japan for steering problems, the automaker said Thursday.

The 373,000 Avalons being recalled in the U.S. 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.

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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.

Recalled in Japan for a similar problem are 6,750 vehicles, called Pronard, built from February 2000 through January 2004, Toyota and the Japanese transport ministry said. There have been three reported problems linked to the defect but no accidents in Japan, the ministry 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.

That problem affects 9,670 vehicles in Japan, two Land Cruiser models, the ministry said. One problem has been reported but no accidents are suspected of being linked to the defect, it said.

The latest recall comes on top of some 8.5 million vehicles that have been recalled around the world by Toyota ™ since October for a spate of problems, including faulty floor mats, defective gas pedals and braking software glitches.

The recall crisis has damaged Toyota's reputation for quality and customer service.

Toyota executives have repeatedly vowed to put customers first. But it has been criticized as lagging in its response to quality lapses, and was slapped with a record $16.4 million fine in the United States for responding too slowly when the recall crisis erupted.

Earlier this month, Toyota announced a recall of some 270,000 vehicles, mostly Lexus cars, for engine problems, dealing a further blow to its image because Lexus is its top-end luxury brand.

Toyota faces more than 200 lawsuits in the U.S. tied to accidents involving defective automobiles, the lower resale value of Toyota vehicles and a drop in its stock value.

"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," said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America.

Owners of Avalon and Lexus cars are being notified next month, being asked to bring in their cars to nearby Toyota and Lexus dealers for a free fix, according to Toyota.

"Our engineers have thoroughly investigated this issue and have identified a robust and durable remedy that will help prevent this condition from affecting drivers in the future," said Mark Templin, group vice president and general manager of Lexus.

link:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2010-07-29-toyota-recall_N.htm

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Toyota recalls 412,000 cars in U.S., mostly Avalons

Yuri Kageyama / Associated Press

Tokyo -- 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 today.

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.

The latest recall comes on top of some 8.5 million vehicles that have been recalled around the world by Toyota Motor Corp. since October for a spate of problems, including faulty floor mats, defective gas pedals and braking software glitches.

The recall crisis has damaged Toyota's reputation for quality and customer service.

Toyota executives have repeatedly vowed to put customers first. But it has been criticized as lagging in its response to quality lapses, and was slapped with a record $16.4 million fine in the United States for responding too slowly when the recall crisis erupted.

Earlier this month, Toyota announced a recall of some 270,000 vehicles, mostly Lexus cars, for engine problems, dealing a further blow to its image because Lexus is its top-end luxury brand.

Toyota faces more than 200 lawsuits in the U.S. tied to accidents involving defective automobiles, the lower resale value of Toyota vehicles, and a drop in its stock value.

"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," said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America.

Owners of Avalon and Lexus cars are being notified next month, being asked to bring in their cars to nearby Toyota and Lexus dealers for a free fix, according to Toyota.

"Our engineers have thoroughly investigated this issue and have identified a robust and durable remedy that will help prevent this condition from affecting drivers in the future," said Mark Templin, group vice president and general manager of Lexus.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100729/AUTO01/7290423/1148/auto01/Toyota-recalls-412-000-cars-in-U.S.--mostly-Avalons#ixzz0v4sGK32B

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Toyota recalls 373k Avalons for steering bracket

By Mark Kleis

Toyota Motor Company has announced a new recall that will affect approximately 373,000 Avalon large sedans, model years 2000 through 2004, due to a steering column bracket that could potentially fail in various situations.

According to Toyota, as a result of improper casting of the steering lock bar, which is an integral part of the steering interlock system, there is a possibility that a minute crack may develop on the surface of the bar. Over time, the crack can potentially continue to expand, eventually compromising the entire bar and causing a complete failure – making the interlock system difficult to unlock when stationary.

Toyota says that if the break occurs while the vehicle is being driven, and with the steering wheel turned to the right, a chain of events could result in a fully locked steering wheel while in motion, greatly increasing the chance of an accident.

“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,” said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America.

The official recall notice will begin mailing in late August, advising the need to have the vehicle serviced which should take approximately two hours of labor.

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/ls-373k-avalons-for-steering-bracket.html

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BREAKING: Toyota to recall 373,000 2000-2004 Avalon sedans in U.S. over faulty steering locks

by Chris Paukert (RSS feed) on Jul 29th 2010 at 8:25AM Breaking

Toyota Motor Corporation's recall woes have resurfaced today with official word that the company will recall some 373,000 second-generation Toyota Avalon models built between the 2000 and 2004 model years.

According to the Japanese automaker, the full-size sedans' steering lock bars can crack, eventually leading to a break. If that failure occurs, the steering column interlock system can become difficult to unlock when parked, potentially disabling the vehicle. Worse, if the driver is in a right-hand turn with "sufficient lateral acceleration," under very specific conditions, the damaged lock bar can actually engage, locking the steering wheel and disabling steering control of the vehicle, a condition that increases the likelihood of an accident.

For its part, Toyota says it is unaware of any crashes stemming from the Avalon's steering interlock issue, and it will replace the steering column bracket in affected vehicles for free. The complete press release is available after the jump.

[source: Toyota]

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 www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/07/29/breaking-toyota-to-recall-373-000-2000-2004-avalon-sedans-in-u/

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New Toyota Recall for 373,000 Avalon Sedans and 39,000 Lexus LX470 SUVs in the States

Friday, July 30, 2010

Another day, another recall-nightmare for Toyota Motor Corp. This time, the Japanese automaker said it was recalling around 373,000 of its 2000-2004MY Toyota Avalons, and approximately 39,000 of its 2003-2007MY Lexus LX 470s in the U.S. for unrelated problems concerning steering parts that may be defective.

Toyota said in a statement that the Avalon sedan's problem involves the steering interlock system, which due to "improper casting", may develop a crack that can expand, making it difficult to unlock the steering system when stationary. The company said it is possible the steering wheel can become locked while the car is being driven.

The Japanese automaker said it will fix the problem by replacing the steering column bracket on involved vehicles free of charge. The procedure is said to take about two hours to complete. The recall will begin in late August.

Moving on the Lexus LX 470 SUV, the company said the problem here is that the construction of the steering shaft is such that the snap ring on the shaft may disengage if the vehicle hits a pothole or a large bump and the driver makes a hard turn, causing the loss of steering.

"The remedy for this condition involves replacing the snap ring with a newly designed one and the installation of an additional component to prevent separation of the steering shaft," said Toyota in a statement, adding that the fix will be free of charge.

The recall for the LX 470 SUV will begin in mid-August.

link:

http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-toyota-recall-for-373000-avalon.html

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