14 Nov 2012

Yet another Toyota recall - this time it's the steering!

It's been a rather messy time for Toyota of late.  First we had the sticking accelerator pedals from a few years ago - when hapless drivers found themselves unable to stop their Toyota plunging headlong into whatever solid object lay in their path.  Then we had faulty brakes, due to leaking brake fluid.  Next up was the car that was so boring as to be unidentifiable as anything other than 'a car'.  And then last month Toyota recalled 7.4 million cars because they might set on fire.

So, after dying from sticking accelerator pedals, from having no brakes, from boredom and from being set on fire, Toyota drivers have another obstacle to trouble free car ownership to contend with.

The steering might break.

Specifically, Avensis, Corolla and Prius models built between July 2001 and March 2009 may suffer a 'reduction in steering response'.  Toyota say that drivers of these cars may hear a knocking or rattling as well as the reduction in steering response.

Toyota say that if the problem occurs the vehicle will be safe to drive.  It is rather hard to imagine a reduction in steering response as being anything other than safe to drive.

So, if you plan to rely on a minicab to take you back home from the pub, think again.  It may not be safe to enter - that is if you can find one because the nice people at Toyota are recalling all such models whereupon they will check the steering column.  if it is found to be faulty, or worn, it will be replaced.

The problem is due to 'insufficient hardness treatment' of some of the extension shafts.  This causes the splines that connect the extension shaft to the steering gearbox to deform if the steering wheel is frequently and forcefully turned right or left at low speeds.

Therefore, if you have to park your Toyota or go around corners you may have damaged the steering because Toyota didn't make it hard enough to cope with such actions.

In other news Toyota are recalling all Prius' built between July 2003 and April 2009 because a failure in the water pump will cause the hybrid system to overheat and stop working.  Owners can take their Prius' to their local Toyota dealer who will fix the problem.

If any star spotters want to see their favourite film star up close then the best place to find them will be at Toyota dealers in Hollywood, New York and central London, whilst they wait for their broken Prius to be fixed.

After all those recalls most Toyotas should now be bullet proof.