Toyota Recalls 52,050 Prius, Venza and Sienna Vehicles in the US

The Toyota recall spree seems to be a bottomless pit ever since 2009, with the company’s North American division now announcing yet another voluntary safety recall involving three of its models. The vehicles in question are approximately 52,000 Prius, 34 Venza AWD, and 16 Sienna AWD units.

Taken separately, the recall campaign involves 2001 through 2003 Prius vehicles sold in the U.S. to replace the electric power steering pinion shaft attachment nuts. According to the manufacturer, this announcement is for U.S. vehicles included in Toyota Motor Corporation's global recall of 106,000 vehicles.

“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.  If the vehicle is continuously operated in this condition, over time, the customer will gradually notice significant increased steering effort when making a left turn,” Toyota explains.

As expected, authorized Toyota dealers will perform the repairs free of charge to the consumer. The repair will reportedly take approximately 4 hours depending upon the dealer's work schedule. Owners of affected vehicles to be notified from early July, 2011.

As for the 34 Venza AWD and 16 Sienna AWD vehicles, these are recalled in order to replace an insufficiently heat treated front right-hand driveshaft.  All of these vehicles are recently produced 2011 model year, and only 38 are expected to have an insufficiently heat-treated driveshaft.

“Due to insufficient heat treatment, there is a possibility that the front right-hand driveshaft may break.  If this occurs, engine power will not be transmitted to the wheels and the vehicle will coast to a stop,” the automaker said.

The driveshaft recall only involves vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, with owners of affected vehicles to be notified from mid June, 2011.
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