The Toyota RAV4 is one model currently under recall for... The Toyota RAV4 is one model currently under recall for problems with the rear suspension (Credit: Toyota).
Toyota will recall approximately 778,000 vehicles that are at risk for problems with their rear suspension. But the recall hasn't started yet, because the company hasn't figured out how to fix the problem.

"The remedy is being finalized," wrote Vinnie Venugopal, Toyota's general manager of Engineering and Manufacturing in North America, in a recall acknowledgement letter sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Toyota will provide NHTSA with additional details at a later time."

Notifying NHTSA of the problem without a solution is an unusual step, perhaps especially so, considering Toyota says it has been monitoring the problem since 2008. The company said it would notify owners of affected RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h models by mail when they can schedule repairs.

The problem centers on improper tightening of lock nuts in the rear-vehicle tie rods. Rust has developed on the tie rods, leading to corrosion, and possibly to separation of the arm from the vehicle. Unchecked, the problem could result in loss of vehicle control, according to the defect report.

While the company says it is safe for motorists to drive the vehicles until a permanent solution is found, they should ensure the lock nuts are properly tightened.

The problem could be responsible for at least one highway accident, in which a driver reported a loud noise that immediately precipitated a loss of control. An internal Toyota investigation could not discern whether the tie-road corrosion had caused the accident.

RAV4 vehicles built in the 2006 through 2010 model years and account for 760,000 of the vehicles in the recall. Lexus 250h models number approximately 18,000 and are from the 2010 model year. Toyota did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

"Once the remedy is available, we will send a notification letter by first class mail advising owners to make an appointment with an authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the remedy performed at no charge," a company spokesperson wrote in a written statement.

In its recall acknowledgement, Toyota said it had initially investigated the tie-rod corrosion problem in 2008, and decided to only monitor the problem at the time. It investigated again in August 2011 when it received additional field reports of problems. In May, it received the report of the accident.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can't build them or fix them ....go figure. They've been monitoring the problem for four years and now they share the concerns with the owners. How considerate of them. Once again Toyota shows is true color.... Rising Sun Red !
      • 2 Years Ago
      Never owned one, and never will!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like the "Let;s change the gas pedal" issue. SOMETHING wasn't broken, but they decided to try to fix it anyway! Just can't leave well enough alone.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Their steel is the WORST.
      Eazy Sfizi
      • 2 Years Ago
      Keep buying this overpriced crap and feed the overseas job export ...what a world !
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eazy Sfizi
        it's great to know someone gets it!!!. they keep buying over sea's, you dim wit's,then complain everything is scarce as a hen's tooth. that's why the u. s. is the way it is.we want made in america !
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, they knew about this problem in 2007 and are just now doing something about it? How typical.
      • 2 Years Ago
      personaly i think if the problem is alittle rust and there worried about a locking nut falling off and a tierod breaking why cant they just make the tierod thicker and make a hole at the end of it and put in a cotter pin in to keep the locking nut in place and put some rust proofing spray on top so it wont rust
        • 2 Years Ago
        You're right. Anyone who knows anything about automotive mechanics knows that this problem can be solved in about ten minutes. Toyota has cards that it is not showing.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Sounds like a U.S. car-maker employee.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota's are built right here in America. The problem is over the years Toyota has been so busy trying to get rid of their regular employees and just use temporary employees to save money. They also bring in a lot of mexican temps who can barely speak english and expect the consumers not to notice that their cars have gone downhill in quality. This mainly started happening when the Japanese who helped open the plants and train American employees went back to Japan and Americans were put in charge of running the plants. Temporary employees don't equal quality, it only endangers peoples lives.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I don't see it as a labor fault/problem, but a design problem. Doesn't matter who put the parts on, the parts were faulty to begin with and doomed to rust/corrode. Maybe the solution would be stainless steel tie rods and nuts. Or would that be too expensive?
      • 2 Years Ago
      American cars have always been crap. My Toyota is still running after 15 years with NO RUST! All the American cars I have owned are long gone after suffering early deaths from poor quality.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I drive a Chevrolet which was 100% NOT made in America. Our Toyota was made in America.
          • 2 Years Ago
          When you assemble a new barbeque, do you tell all your friends that you "made" it?
        • 2 Years Ago
        Toyota has had 3 recalls in the last 4 years. To top it off, a few of their issues have caused car accidents and deaths. I would take a little rust over vehicular homicide any day of the week.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Buy American. junk that Jap crap!!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      We here at Toyota want to assure the 778,000 owners that loss of vehicle control will most likely (but not completely sure) occur on city streets at 35 mph or less. Therefore we suggest that you never, ever use your vehicle on the highway. If you travel long distances you might want to rent a car, use your spouses car or travel our great nation's highways at 35 mph or less so that risk of imminent death is minimized. We have been analyzing the problem for 4 years and we want to categorically state for the record that a fix should be available before the end of the vehicle's projected lifespan. Happy motoring!
      John Murphy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why don't they blame it on operators error ?
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