Toyota recall: Does crankshaft flaw affect your car?

Toyota recall involves models including the Avalon, Camry, Highlander, and Lexus ES330 manufactured from 2004-2006. A faulty crankshaft pulley, which could lead to loss of power steering, triggered the Toyota recall.  

By , Business editor

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    In this file photo from August, people walk by a car on display at Toyota's Tokyo, Japan, headquarters. Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it is recalling about 550,000 vehicles worldwide. More than 400,000 vehicles in the Toyota recall are in the United States.
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Toyota is recalling 420,000 vehicles because of the potential that drivers could lose their power steering.

The Toyota recall includes Avalons, Camrys, Lexuses, and other vehicles manufactured from 2004 to 2006. Specifically on the recall list are certain models of the:

  •      2004 Avalon
  •      2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara
  •      2006 Highlander HV
  •      2004 and 2005 Lexus ES330 and RX330
  •      2006 Lexus RX400h

The recall only involves only the above models with six-cylinder engines. The four-cylinder models do not pose the risk, Toyoto said in a statement.

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The problem involves the crankshaft pulley of the V6 engines. According to Toyota, the outer ring of the pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring. Drivers may notice increased noise or the discharge warning light going on.

If the condition isn’t fixed, the belt for the power steering pump may come off and the car would lose its power steering.

“The driver may notice a sudden increase in steering effort,” the company said in a statement. “There are no reports of accidents or injuries related to this condition.”

Toyota is waiting until it can get adequate supplies of replacement parts. Then it will notify owners by mail, urging them to make an appointment with a dealer.

Even before official notification of the Toyota recall, owners of one of these recalled vehicles who notice “an abnormal noise” from the engine should contact a Toyota or Lexus dealer now.

Dealers will inspect the crankshaft pulley and, if necessary, replace it. There is no charge for the fix.

For more information, Toyota owners can call Toyota (800-331-4331) or Lexus (800-255-3987) or log onto the company’s website: www.toyota.com/recall

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