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Published On: Thu, Nov 15th, 2012

Toyota to recall 2.77 million Prius vehicles for steering, water pump problems

Toyota announced it’s voluntary recalling a total of  almost 3 million vehicles worldwide for steering and water pump issues that have popped up recently, which will make this the second multi-million vehicle recall for the company in just over a month.

There haven’t been any accidents or injuries reported thus far from the problems, which can be fixed relatively quickly but will likely cost Toyota hundreds of millions of dollars to repair.

The defects could each be fixed in an hour or so, could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to repair, according Deutsche Securities autos analyst Kurt Sanger.

While the recall is widespread, the flaws are less serious and any damage to Toyota’s reputation would likely be limited compared with massive recalls in 2009 to 2011 when unintended acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles were the suspected cause of fatal crashes in the United States.

Toyota this year recaptured the crown of the world’s top automaker after last year’s natural disasters, which temporarily disrupted production inJapan and Thailand, had knocked it from the top spot in 2011.

Here’s the statement from Toyota’s press release:

Approximately 670,000 Prius vehicles are being recalled in the United States to inspect and in some cases replace the steering intermediate extension shaft.

Due to insufficient hardness treatment of some of the extension shafts, the splines that connect the extension shaft to the steering gear box may deform if the steering wheel is frequently and forcefully turned to the full left or full right position while driving at slow speeds.  This deformation may create increased internal clearance and the splines may eventually, over time, wear out.

Toyota dealers will inspect the extension shaft to determine if it needs to be replaced and, if confirmed, will replace it.  The inspection and repair will take approximately one hour depending on the dealer’s work schedule.

Approximately 350,000 of these same Prius vehicles are also being recalled to replace the electric water pump for the hybrid system.

In the hybrid system, there is an electrically driven water pump that circulates coolant through the hybrid components to provide cooling.  There is a possibility that the electric motor installed in the water pump may stop functioning, leading to illumination of various warning lights in the instrument panel.  In limited instances, the electric power supply circuit fuse may open, causing the hybrid system to stop while the vehicle is being driven.

Toyota dealers will replace the electric water pump for the hybrid system.  The repair will take approximately two hours depending on the dealer’s work schedule.

 

photo by Mariordo

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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