Toyota Recalls Over a Half Million Vehicles for Crankshaft Problems

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While absent from the recall news over the past few weeks, the Japanese auto titan Toyota Motor Corporation recently re-entered with a large recall for vehicles in the U.S. and abroad for possible control problems. Toyota announced the recall in conjunction with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) for 550,000 total cars, with 440,200 here in the domestic market.

The manufacturing flaw at issue involves the crankshaft pulley on vehicles with V6 engines. This affects 137,000 Lexus models (made under the Toyota umbrella) and 283,200 Toyotas. If not repaired, the outside cylinder on the crankshaft can become dislodged from the inner one, creating noise or triggering a caution light. In addition, the power steering pump’s belt can become disconnected from the pulley, which may result in sudden steering and control problems associated with the driver’s wheel.

The recall includes Toyota Camrys, Highlanders, Siennas, and Solaras from 2004-2005, Avalons from 2004, and the Highlander HVs from 2006. The Lexus cars included in the recall are the ES 330 and RX 330 from 2004-2006, and the RX 400h from 2006 according to the release. Consumers with these models are instructed to contact their dealer for more information and an inspection of potential problems.

As of mid-November 2011, Toyota claimed there have been no reports of crashes or injuries due to this problem. The Japanese carmaker has recalled over 13 million vehicles in the United States since the fall of 2009 and currently faces hundreds of lawsuits regarding manufacturing and safety flaws.

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