DETROIT (WWJ) -Toyota Motor Corp. announced Wednesday that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 550,000 vehicles worldwide to fix problems that could make the vehicles harder to steer.
In the U.S., the recall affects 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles to replace the crankshaft pulley on the V6 engine.
There is a possibility that the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise and illumination of the discharge warning light. If this condition is not corrected, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley and the driver may notice a sudden increase in steering effort.
Although Toyota has received 79 reports about the defect, there have been no reports of accidents or injuries.
The vehicles involved are certain:
- 2004 Avalon
- 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara
- 2006 Highlander HV
- 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330
- And 2006 RX400h
No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles or these Toyota models with 4 cylinder engines are involved.
Toyota is currently working on obtaining the necessary replacement parts. Once the replacement parts have been produced in sufficient quantities, Toyota will send an owner notification by first class mail advising owners to make an appointment with an authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the crankshaft pulley inspected and if necessary, replaced at no charge. The owner notifications will be mailed by first class mail beginning in January, 2012.
In the meantime, if an abnormal noise is heard coming from the engine compartment, owners are asked to make an appointment with any Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the vehicle inspected for this condition.
For more information, visit www.toyota.com/recall or call 1-800-331-4331.