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Recall of the week 14-11-12: Toyota Avensis, Corolla and Prius

Toyota’s found itself in yet another spot of recall bother. A number of faults have been found in the Avensis, Corolla and the Prius, though thankfully none serious enough to have caused injury.

There's something wrong with the Prius. Again.
There’s something wrong with the Prius. Again.

So what are the issues? The first is to do with the steering wheel of Avensis, Corolla and Prius models manufactured between July 2001 and March 2009. Toyota says there is a possibility a component in the steering can cause knocking or rattling and could even affect steering response. Nine cases have been reported in Europe, though none have been serious enough to have resulted in an accident.

Here’s the official spiel on the matter: “Due to insufficient hardness treatment of some of the extension shafts, the splines that connect the extension shaft to the steering gearbox 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.”

If your car feels like it has been affected, Toyota will inspect and replace the faulty component free of charge. Best to head to your nearest garage.

The second fault, which involves the Prius, relates to the car’s electric motor. An issue with an electrically driven water pump that takes care of coolant circulation means it may cease to function, causing your instrument panel to light up like a Christmas tree with faults. In worse cases, the circuit fuse may open and the hybrid motor will stop working completely.

Here’s the official lowdown: “There is an electrically driven water pump that circulates coolant through the hybrid components. 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 water pump electric power supply circuit fuse may open, causing the hybrid system to stop while the vehicle is being driven.”

Only three reported cases have occurred in Europe and there have been no related accidents, which is good news. Still, you will need to visit the Toyota website to check whether your car has been affected. A VIN look-up function will be added soon. Its believed 670,000 Priuses will need free repairs done to sort the issue.

In total, the UK vehicle recall amounts to 75,000 vehicles and worldwide the combined total is a staggering 2.77 million. That’s going to cost Toyota a few pennies to sort out.
This, sadly for Toyota owners, isn’t the first major recall in recent times. In January of 2010, a total of 5.2 million vehicles were recalled over an issue with pedal entrapment and then a further 2.3 million were recalled over a faulty accelerator pedal.

Source and image: Newspress

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