POSTED: Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 8:30am
UPDATED: Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 1:23am
NBC NEWS — Toyota announces a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 52,000 Prius vehicles from 2001 and 2003. Prius vehicles sold in the U.S. to replace the electric power steering pinion shaft attachment nuts. This announcement is for U.S. vehicles included in Toyota Motor Corporation’s global recall of 106,000 vehicles.
If the steering wheel is repeatedly and strongly turned to the full-lock position, there is a possibility the nuts securing the pinion shaft in the steering gear box assembly may become loose. If the vehicle is continuously operated in this condition, over time, the customer will gradually notice significant increased steering effort when making a left turn.
Toyota dealers will install improved nuts that secure the pinion shaft at no charge to the vehicle owner. The repair will take approximately 4 hours depending upon the dealer’s work schedule.
Owner notification letters by first class mail will begin in early July, 2011.
The separate recall announced by TMS involves 34 Venza AWD and 16 Sienna AWD vehicles to replace an insufficiently heat treated front right-hand driveshaft. All of these vehicles are recently produced 2011 model year. Only 38 are expected to have an insufficiently heat-treated driveshaft.
Due to insufficient heat treatment, there is a possibility that the front right-hand driveshaft may break. If this occurs, engine power will not be transmitted to the wheels and the vehicle will coast to a stop.
No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in these recalls and the driveshaft recall only involves vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.
Owner notification letters by first class mail will begin in mid June, 2011.
Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall  and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.