Toyota is recalling certain Toyota RAV4 and Lexus HS models in the U.S. due to a problem that may cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle.
About 878,000 vehicles are affected by the Toyota recall. The majority of the vehicles, or 760,000 of the recalled cars, are Toyota RAV4s from the 2006-2011 model years. The rest of the recalled models represent Lexus HS 250h models from the 2010 year.
Four drivers reported that they lost control of their car at high speeds because the rear suspension failed.
According to Toyota, the problem does not involve a manufacturing error but instead is caused by improper tightening of turnbuckle nuts by service technicians. If the nuts on the suspension arm are not tightened to the correct specifications, excess movement can occur, followed by the formation of rust.
According to The Detroit News, Toyota first received complaints about the problem in 2008, but didn’t detect a “clear trend of failure.” In 2011, when Toyota inspected 52 vehicles, only one was found with the loose nuts. After receiving one more complaint, Toyota inspected more vehicles in May, finding just one with the problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the vehicles in June.
Toyota said yesterday that it is currently developing a solution to the problem. Once a solution is found, Toyota will notify owners by mail. Owners will then be able to have the problem fixed for free at Toyota or Lexus dealerships.
If Toyota owners have further questions, they are advised to visit www.toyota.com/recall or call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. Lexus owners will want to visit www.lexus.com/recall or call the Lexus Customer Satisfaction number at 1-800-255-3987.
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