Toyota is to recall Lexus LS 600h and LS 460 models equipped with the Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) due to complaints about low speed manoeuvring.

The precise number of cars involved is still being finalised but the company said initial figures show approximately 11,500 vehicles are affected globally.

This issue has been under investigation by Toyota since March this year and the company has received approximately 10 complaints in Japan. No accidents have been reported relating to the steering.

VGRS is a feature that enables easier handling during low-speed driving and provides better stability during high-speed driving than conventional steering by changing the gear ratio.

Problems have occurred at low speed when manoeuvring the steering wheel to full lock position. If the driver then returns the steering wheel very fast, this could lead to a steering wheel off-centre condition even though the driving wheels would be straight.

Toyota said that this phenomenon is resolved automatically in a few seconds and the driver may notice this correction as the steering wheel centre moves slowly back to the centre position. It added that the driver remains in control of the vehicle as the steering wheel self corrects itself.

The models affected have been on sale in the United States, Europe and China as well as Japan.

The move is the latest in a series of recalls and incidents that have hit Toyota’s reputation for quality. The carmaker has recalled more than eight million Toyota and Lexus vehicles worldwide in 2009 and this year, including 6.5 million in the United States, mainly due to complaints about unintended acceleration.