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Koji Sasahara/AP
Product Recall

Toyota to recall 550,000 vehicles over steering problem

Most of the recalls – which relate to a faulty crankshaft pulley in the vehicles’ engines – will be in North America.

TOYOTA IS TO RECALL about 550,000 vehicles worldwide – mostly in the United States – to address problems which could make it harder to steer.

The recall affects 447,000 vehicles in North America, as well as 38,000 in Japan and another 25,000 in Australia and New Zealand, a Toyota spokesman said.

Some 14,000 vehicles are being recalled in Europe, along with 10,000 in the Middle East and 14,000 in Asia outside Japan. It was not clear how many, if any, Irish vehicles would be subject to the recall.

The Toyota spokesman said there had been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problems.

Toyota’s US sales unit said there was a possibility that the outer ring of the engine’s crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise or a warning signal to light up.

If the problem isn’t corrected, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley, making it suddenly more difficult to turn the driving wheel.

In the United States, the automaker is recalling 283,200 Toyota brand cars, including the 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara, the 2004 Avalon and the 2006 Highlander HV.

Its recall of 137,000 Lexus vehicles includes the 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330 and 2006 RX400h. The recall notification process varies from country to country.

If needed, parts will be replaced for no charge. Notifications to car owners will be sent out from January.

In the meantime, if an abnormal noise is heard coming from the engine compartment, the owner is asked to make an appointment with any Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the vehicle inspected for the condition.

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Author
Associated Foreign Press
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