Automotive News reports that a federal grand jury in New York has subpoenaed Toyota for documentation related to a component in the steering mechanism of some of its vehicles. The company announced that the subpoena came on June 29, but isn't yet saying publicly which vehicles are involved with the issue.

What we do know is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated an investigation in February of 749,685 2009 and 2010 model year Corolla and Matrix vehicles for a potential steering issue. Toyota has received 437 reports, including 11 injuries and 18 crashes, since 2008, and NHTSA has received 168 complaints. In affected Corolla and Matrix models the electric power steering units are reportedly prone to drifting or locking up, with the problem most notable when cruising at highway speeds. The Japanese automaker has stated publicly that the issue is not a safety recall, though it intends to service the vehicles of Corolla and Matrix owners who say they have an issue. NHTSA still has not revealed the results of it's investigation.

This subpoena is the third Toyota has received so far in 2010, with the first coming in February due to unintended acceleration issues and the second from the Michigan Attorney General for recall issues in March. Toyota has recalled 10.8 million vehicles worldwide for acceleration-related issues.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req. | Image: David McNew/Getty]