Toyota issues recall on 373,000 Avalons in U.S.

July 30th, 2010 - 2:09 am ICT by BNO News  

TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA (BNO NEWS) — Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., on Thursday announced that it intends to issue a voluntary recall on around 373,000 Avalons due to a steering problem.

The steering problem involves 2000-2004 Model Year Toyota Avalons sold in the U.S., as the vehicles’ steering lock bar could break under certain conditions.

“Because of improper casting of the steering lock bar, which is a component of the steering interlock system, there is a possibility that a minute crack may develop on the surface. Such a crack may expand over a long period of repeated lock and unlock operations, and eventually the lock bar could break. If this occurs, the interlock system may become difficult to unlock when stationary,” Toyota said.

Furthermore, the motor company reported that a broken and loose lock bar may move toward the steering shaft if the vehicle is steered to the right while being driven with sufficient lateral acceleration.

If the engagement hole in the shaft happens to line up at the specific time the broken lock bar has moved, this could cause the steering wheel lock bar to engage, locking the steering wheel, and increasing the risk of a crash.

With this recall, Toyota will be replacing the steering column bracket on involved vehicles, which takes about two hours to complete depending on the dealer’s schedule.

“Toyota is continuing to work diligently to address safety issues wherever they arise and to strengthen our global quality assurance operations so that Toyota owners can be confident in the safety of their vehicles,” Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America, said

Toyota said it will be notifying owners by first class mail beginning in late August 2010 to bring their vehicles to their local Toyota dealer for replacement of the steering column bracket at no charge to the customer.

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