JAPAN/AUSTRALIA/UK: Toyota recalling almost 1m cars worldwide for steering fault
Toyota Europe is recalling 184,850 cars as part of a global recall of close to 1m vehicles to fix faulty intermediate shafts and sliding yokes.
A Toyota GB spokesman told just-auto that 33,468 cars are affected in the UK, including locally-made 1.6- and 1.8-litre petrol powered Avensis models, 219 Corollas and 5,685 of the hybrid Prius, which is imported from Japan.
Toyota Motor Corporation Australia said it would recall Prius models built in Japan from July 2003 through to November 2005 - a total of 2,596 cars.
Corolla and Avensis models sold in Australia are not affected, the company added.
"On certain vehicles that are subjected to operating conditions where a large steering force is repeatedly applied (such as when the steering wheel is turned forcefully to full lock position or the tyre is in contact with the roadside curb) there is a possibility that the steering intermediate shaft may become loose or develop a crack," Toyota Australia said in a statement announcing the recall.
"Owners of an affected vehicle will most likely become aware of a problem with the steering as a result of increased noise such as a rattle or a 'knocking' sound. In the worst case, if the vehicle continues to be operated under these conditions, the steering connection may separate or fracture, which could result in loss of steering."
According to Reuters, Toyota Motor Company, in a filing with Japan's Transport Ministry, said earlier it would recall a total of 565,756 vehicles in Japan, including Wish, Isis, Prius and other cars built between September 2002 and November 2005.
A Toyota spokesman told the news agency the recall would also cover about 400,000 units overseas.
The company said it had received no reports of accidents from the defects.
Reuters noted that Toyota as a matter of policy does not disclose the cost of recalls.
Toyota Australia said it had received no reported incidents of the faulty steering systems in its market.
Repairs will take dealers about an hour, it added.