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
      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!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Never owned one, and never will!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Enjoy your foreign cars folks!!!!!
      John Murphy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why don't they blame it on operators error ?
      • 2 Years Ago
      Funny how these Asian vehicles are mostly made here in America and the American vehicles are made elsewhere. We the consumers are blind to the fact that most of the vehicles we own have recalled parts on them. It is our responsibilty to find out about these recalls on our own through various resources. I have been to the dealership numerous times for service and have yet to be informed on the 10-20 recall notices I do know exist for my particular car. Imagine how much money these automakers would lose annually if they bit the bullet and willfully fixed every vehicle that needed a recall fix just because it was the right thing to do.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I used to work at the Learning Center at one of Ford Motor Company's assembly plants and the comment that they are a bunch of useless dope smoking, alcohol drenched UAW workers is outrageous. Many of the workers on the line have bachelors and even masters degrees; can we say this for you? They also care about their product; I have seen it first hand. Do not speak on this issue unless you are educated enough to do so.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Masters degree = assembly plant? I wouldnt want to be educated if it is going to lead me to an assembly line.
          • 2 Years Ago
          You seem to be very uneducated and oblivious to the economy for the last five years. Since you don't seem to understand how things are in today's day and age, I will help you. I have an MBA and working a job for about half of what the MBA should be worth. The flip side is that I have stayed employed for the last five years while others have lost their job. Just becuase you go to school for a discipline does not mean that is where you are going to finish. I stopped counting how many people I have seen that have a 4 year degree working in a completely different area of the degree, just to work and pay student loans and bills. I teach part time and I see so many students, mostly adults finishing their degree and doing anything they can to better themself, or just nott lose ground. Those people with the MBA are more reliable and stable then people that do not. When you have a spouse and kids and have to make choices for survival I think your tune would change.
      • 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.
      john davies
      • 2 Years Ago
      They know the problem, low grade steel.
      • 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 !
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