Toyota is recalling 106,000 Prius models built between 2001 and 2003. A total of 52,000 of those units were sold in the States.

Toyota says that if the steering wheel is strongly turned to the full lock position over and over again, the electric power steering pinion shaft nuts may become loose. Over time, that may result in the driver having to exert more force than typically necessary to turn left.

Owners can expect to be notified of the recall in early July, and the repair (in which dealers will replace the electric power steering pinion shaft nuts with new equipment) is expected to take around four hours.

In addition, the Japanese automaker is recalling a handful of Venza and Sienna all-wheel drive models for improperly heat-treated front drive shafts. The recall covers a total of 34 Venza models and 16 Sienna units produced in 2011, and owners can expect to be notified of the problem by June of this year. Hit the jump for the full press blast.
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Toyota Announces Voluntary Safety Recall of Certain Prius Vehicles

Separately, Toyota Will Recall 50 Venza AWD and Sienna AWD Vehicles to Replace the Front Right-Hand Driveshaft

Torrance, Calif., June 1, 2011 – Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS), today announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 52,000 2001 through 2003 Prius vehicles sold in the U.S. to replace the electric power steering pinion shaft attachment nuts. This announcement is for U.S. vehicles included in Toyota Motor Corporation's global recall of 106,000 vehicles.

If the steering wheel is repeatedly and strongly turned to the full-lock position, there is a possibility the nuts securing the pinion shaft in the steering gear box assembly may become loose. If the vehicle is continuously operated in this condition, over time, the customer will gradually notice significant increased steering effort when making a left turn.

Toyota dealers will install improved nuts that secure the pinion shaft at no charge to the vehicle owner. The repair will take approximately 4 hours depending upon the dealer's work schedule.

Owner notification letters by first class mail will begin in early July, 2011.

The separate recall announced by TMS involves 34 Venza AWD and 16 Sienna AWD vehicles to replace an insufficiently heat treated front right-hand driveshaft. All of these vehicles are recently produced 2011 model year. Only 38 are expected to have an insufficiently heat-treated driveshaft.

Due to insufficient heat treatment, there is a possibility that the front right-hand driveshaft may break. If this occurs, engine power will not be transmitted to the wheels and the vehicle will coast to a stop.

No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in these recalls and the driveshaft recall only involves vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.

Owner notification letters by first class mail will begin in mid June, 2011.

Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      jeep02tj
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not a big deal recall. Put a new nut on the steering pinion, tighten it down, and call it a day. I'm sure Toyota does not machine the nut that loosens up and I wonder what other automakers use the same nut.
        Christopher
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jeep02tj
        Thats true, they but they were the guys that enginereed the design. But very true about who makes the nuts and who heat treats the parts. They all tend to use the same suppliers, but they do have different standards. Always bad news when we hear about recalls. The big three will be back in the spotlight again in a matter of time and boy will the trolls be out for blood!
      Doug
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hmm, it must be the owner's fault - just like the sudden acceleration problem.
        GeorgeAtha
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Doug
        it was owners' fault ... do not worry.
          carfan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @GeorgeAtha
          of course, because you are...the expert?!
        EnzoHonda
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Doug
        The sudden acceleration disaster actually turned out to be the owners' fault, just no one reported that part. The car-mat piling issue was real, but putting physical obstructions near the gas pedal so that it catches shouldn't be a recall issue; it should be a reminder not to put stuff near the pedal.
          Jesus follower!
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EnzoHonda
          Actually floor mats and pedals aided in the issues. And I am still not sold something isn't wrong with these cars. Toyota probably fixed them when they came in for the other issues.
      Master Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Toyota's recall of the week"...this was already expected...
      NightFlight
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can't turn left? I guess that means that we'll never see the Prius doing any oval track racing. NASCAR is out of the cards.... I'm just waiting for that guy "TOYOTA RECALL" to show up and troll this entire article.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        [blocked]
        SurfWRaX
        • 3 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Glad I Alt-F "left" to see I was beaten to it by 6 hours. Bravo.
      warren,
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm sure the usual suspects will be along any minute now to tell us all that we shouldn't buy foreign vehicles because of things like this...... this in spite of the fact that the problem described sounds like something that'd pretty much never happen in everyday driving, especially with first-generation Priuses!
      trans-am phoenix
      • 3 Years Ago
      i know its not a big deal recall but does it seem toyota has at least one recall every month? I mean we are going to have to another month but it seems to be like it get earlier each month too
        Dest
        • 3 Years Ago
        @trans-am phoenix
        Not really surprising. In 2010, Toyota had 14 recalls. GM on the other hand had 21. Automakers have always had a lot of recalls but it's only become trendy now to report on (some of) them.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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