The newest Toyota recall affects approximately 106,000 Prius hybrids globally built from 2001 to 2003 for a fault with the electric power steering system. The Japanese automaker said the voluntary action affects around 52,000 Prius models sold in the United States.
“If the steering wheel is repeatedly and strongly turned to the full-lock position, there is a possibility the nuts securing the pinion shaft in the steering gear box assembly may become loose,” Toyota said in a statement. The company added that if the owner leaves the condition uncorrected, over time they will gradually notice significant increased steering effort when making a left turn.
Toyota said its dealers will install “improved nuts” that secure the pinion shaft at no charge, with the repair expected to take approximately 4 hours. Owners of the affected models in the U.S. will be notified by first class mail in early July, 2011.
“Due to insufficient heat treatment, there is a possibility that the front right-hand driveshaft may break,” said Toyota adding that if this happens, engine power will not be transferred to the wheels and the vehicle will roll to a stop. This recall is expected to begin in June.