Automotive News reports Toyota is recalling a total of 2.77 million vehicles worldwide for faulty water pumps and steering system issues. A total of 670,000 of those are 2004-2009 Prius hybrids sold in the US. Those vehicles are headed back to the dealer, where technicians will inspect the intermediate shaft in the steering column for deformed splines and replace the shaft if necessary. Around 350,000 of those same models will also be inspected for a faulty electric water pump. In some cases, the motor driving the pump could stop, causing the electric motor to overheat and stop functioning while being driven.

Toyota has not received any reports of accidents as a result of either problem, and says the inspections and replacement work should be completed in around one hour.

The recalls also affect 496,000 vehicles in Europe and a further 1.5 million in Japan. All told, the steering shaft recall covers 10 models worldwide, including the Corolla and Wish models manufactured in Japan between 2000 and 2009. Five models are affected by the water pump recall, though we're still waiting for confirmation from Toyota as to which they are. You can read the full Toyota press release below, covering the US-spec Prius issues, for more information.

UPDATE: We've heard back from Toyota about the two recall issues reported on this morning, and have a bit of clarification on the models in question, worldwide, now.

Prius is the only model affected by the water pump issue. As we indicated earlier, the faulty water pump could cause the electric motor to shut down, which then causes the ECU to shut down the gasoline engine, as well.

The other nine models affected by the steering shaft issue (which is unrelated to the water pump issue) are mostly Japanese Domestic Market vehicles: Allex, Avensis, Corolla, Corolla Feilder, Corolla Run X, Corolla Spacio, Isis, WiLL VS and Wish.

We also have a breakdown of the number of vehicles affected by both recalls, by world market. 670k in the US, 1.5 million in Japan, 15k in Canada, 496k in Europe, 3,800 in China, 35k in Oceania, 1,500 in the Middle East and a total of 12,600 in "other" regions.
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Toyota Announces Voluntary Safety Recalls of Certain 2004 to 2009 Model Year Prius Vehicles

TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 14, 2012 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS), will conduct two safety recalls involving Prius vehicles as part of the recall announced today by Toyota Motor Corporation.

Approximately 670,000 Prius vehicles are being recalled in the United States to inspect and in some cases replace the steering intermediate extension shaft.

Due to insufficient hardness treatment of some of the extension shafts, the splines that connect the extension shaft to the steering gear box may deform if the steering wheel is frequently and forcefully turned to the full left or full right position while driving at slow speeds. This deformation may create increased internal clearance and the splines may eventually, over time, wear out.

Toyota dealers will inspect the extension shaft to determine if it needs to be replaced and, if confirmed, will replace it. The inspection and repair will take approximately one hour depending on the dealer's work schedule.

Approximately 350,000 of these same Prius vehicles are also being recalled to replace the electric water pump for the hybrid system.

In the hybrid system, there is an electrically driven water pump that circulates coolant through the hybrid components to provide cooling. There is a possibility that the electric motor installed in the water pump may stop functioning, leading to illumination of various warning lights in the instrument panel. In limited instances, the electric power supply circuit fuse may open, causing the hybrid system to stop while the vehicle is being driven.

Toyota dealers will replace the electric water pump for the hybrid system. The repair will take approximately two hours depending on the dealer's work schedule.

There have been no crashes or injuries reported for these two conditions. Owners of vehicles covered by these safety recalls will receive an owner notification letter via first class mail starting in December 2012. Any authorized Toyota dealer will perform these recalls at no charge to the vehicle owner.

Detailed information is 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
  • 77 Comments
      NightFlight
      • 2 Years Ago
      Type your comment hereughing out loud at all of the stupid people in this article. READ THE ACTUAL ARTICLE!!! "Toyota has not received any reports of accidents as a result of either problem, and says the inspections and replacement work should be completed in around one hour." Buy American? The Americans have had a ton of recalls as well. Ford had three on the Escape alone, don't even bring the Focus into the mix. If you are a German vehicle fan, they've had their fair share of recalls as well. Korean, Swedish, and other Japanese manufacturers have all had recalls as well. Bottom line? No manufacturer is immune to recalls, and many are due to the suppliers mistake, and many other manufacturers use the same supplier. If you are talking about being patriotic, a vast majority of Toyota's best selling models are built right here in the US, while some AMERICAN manufacturers are sending jobs and production to Mexico and Canada. Toyota literally employs tens of thousands of Americans directly, and countless others from suppliers that are based right here in the US. There is a reason why America has become the laughing stock of the world. We have some of the least intelligent citizens in all of the 1st world nations. Vote me down, it just proves your stupidity and ignorance. /rant
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        Where's our edit button, Autoblog? We've been waiting years for one. Literally years.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          @ Shawn, I don't really want to buy into what's obviously a long running dispute, but I must support NightFlights contention that a lot of people use the boring, delays between flights to post comments on internet sites, featuring other interests apart from work. I'm typing this from the Qantas Club lounge at Auckland NZ, where my connecting flight has been delayed, yet again ! In relation to NightFights comments, like 95% of the world's population, I'm not a US citizen. In an age of Multinational trade, it's very hard to remain a patriotic fan of any brand of automobile. The US has every reason to be proud of the recovery of America's legendary automobile industry, especially the diversity of technology. Despite all the political controversy (incomprehensible to most foreigners, and I suspect most Americans !) , GM's Volt/Ampera has proven that the US can build quality, hi-tech auto-mobiles. Tesla's Model S, has not only proved the US can produce radical new technology, but the story of Tesla and Elon Musk, is a really ' only in America' story of creative business entrepreneurship ! On the hand, Chrysler's 3008speed, is evidence that the US still has a market for the best of the old technology. No other nation could produce a family like Ford. The recovery of Ford Motors is an amazing feat of business determination. America has much to be proud of, and Americans should be able to buy American with pride. But, it must be acknowledged that for many years, US industry lost it's way. IMHO,Toyota, makes boring but on the whole reliable vehicles. Toyota's success with Hybrids and Luxus is well earned. Competition keeps everyone striving to improve !
          Walt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Edit button? No, it's time for an "ignore" button. You're up first Nighty!
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          @ Walt Right back at you, Walt. You might win for one of the most frequently downrated people on this site though.
          Walt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Downrated by you and your several screen names that is. Your rants today has reached a new low Nightie, proving once again that import lovers are followers, not leaders.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          [blocked]
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Import lover? Walt, one of my favorite brands is Ford.
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          @ Walt I am making fun of other people trying to imply that American brands are automatically better. I am realistic, and realize that ALL manufacturers have their issues. You can still be a fan of one brand while criticizing them for their mistakes. Blind loyalty makes no sense to me. Eviction notice? Are you trying to be funny or something? I am in the automotive industry and I work with multiple suppliers and manufacturers all around the world. I spend over 60% of my time traveling, taking late flights, hence my name here. I take a lot of flights at night = NightFlight. They do have WiFi in the RCC, now known as the United Lounge, you know...
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          @ Shawn Do you travel a lot internationally? I do. I made 1K before June this year on mileage, not segments. I almost quite literally live on an airplane. If you are done on site, you don't have a hotel or office to go to when you are heading home. You go to the airport and sit in the RCC/UC and do work, respond to email, etc. A majority of my work is done while on site, with not much other then email/follow-ups when not on site. When the wheels are up, then I'll take time to do more work. When I am in the RCC/UC I am relaxing, that's my time.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        [blocked]
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          Fanboy? I don't even like Toyota, I just like facts and not spreading FUD. I am not betraying anyone, I just understand how the automotive industry works and laugh at idiots who pretend to know. I AM in the industry, and I work directly with multiple manufacturers, all over the world (hence my screen name). If you are trying to imply I don't know what I am talking about, you can just stop right there as I have actual first hand experience. The fact that Toyota produces so many vehicles that they actually SELL here is saying something. Sure, they have models that are produced overseas, but not many of them are high volume models so it doesn't make that much of a difference. Are you going to stop buying Chryslers now because they make some vehicles in Canada? You are foolish to even for one second believe that the US is the cheapest place to manufacture vehicles. Why do you think so many of our actual American manufacturers have moved their production to Mexico? Just an FYI, the Camry is one of the most "American" vehicles so can buy taking American labor and American sourced parts into the equation. Again, take your misguided patriotism elsewhere. I'll take jobs for our American workers, which in turn, directly stimulates OUR economy. Sounds like you need to take a business class, kid. Learn how a multinational corporation works, then get back to me. Please, continue to downrate me. I love it!!!
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        richard
        • 2 Years Ago
        @NightFlight
        NightFlight, Prius is made in Japan, Volt is made in America. And as far as laughingstock, Asia is laughing at America, because of people like you, who would rather support Asia than America. If you want to build bridges and schools for the Japanese, fine, but we need money here in America also. So you might be better off just moving over there.
      rapidrunner
      • 2 Years Ago
      buy american
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rapidrunner
        Buy American? You mean like the Caddy being recalled a couple articles up? LOL.
      Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      We just traded in our 2004 Prius with a 130,000+ miles without any serious issues, averaging in the upper forties MPG in the driving we do. Its performance was unchanged from when it was new. Currently driving our 2012 Prius, getting an additional four miles per gallon above what we got with the 2004 model. Whatever problems Toyota has had does not erase their standing in my eyes as being head and shoulders above the competition.
        HappyListener
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jim
        I agree. I am averaging 59 MPG in my 2013 Toyota Prius. Traveling 28 miles in 2 hours weekdays from work in heavy 5 to 10 MPH crawling from a stop and go traffic, I achieved 78.9 MPG, surpassing my last at 72.4 MPG and 70.1 MPG prior to that. I filled my gas tank Wednesday December 11th, 2013 and as of today Sunday January 12th, 2014, I still have nearly half a tank left. The Prius not only meets my needs, it is exceeding my expectations. I rely on my own experiences. I previously owned a 2001 Ford Escape. My first and my last Ford. Drove it over 200,000 miles and after multiple problems, high out of my pocket expense and misleading information from Ford mechanics, I will never buy another Ford. Escaped from the money pit and happy in my incredibly fuel efficient and reliable Prius. Excellent value.
      Ray
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another recall for Toyota how many does this make. Where is the nearest Ford or Honda dealership?
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ray
        Who the hell is upvoting this guy? Both Honda and Ford has had a bunch of recalls this year. Ford had MULTIPLE on the Escape alone.
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ray
        Good call. Pick up one of those new Ford Escapes that has had at least 3 recalls on the new for 2013 model. And Honda has had a TON of recalls this year as well.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jtav2002
          [blocked]
      neutral drop
      • 2 Years Ago
      These Toyota recalls are becoming ridiculous! What happened to Toyota????? I DO NOT WANT!!!
      Dahna
      • 2 Years Ago
      BFD. Two of THE most reliable automobiles being made today: Mazda Miata MX-5 and the Toyota Prius. If you own a car you know shiite happens - the best that can be said is that the manufacturer covers it.
      terencerhyne
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyoto do they still make them all i see around here are fords and chevys america baby chevy is the heart beat and ford is the heart.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @terencerhyne
        Yeah!!!! Buy that Chevy that is made in Canada! WOOO!!!! AMERICAAA!!!!
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Shows that Toyota is not that different from other brands unlike what the fanboys might say.
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        Please, most people aren't Toyota fanboys, they're just pointing out the fact that most people here are mildly retarded and condemn Toyota for every recall while giving a pass to everyone else. I currently own a Toyota but am in no means a Toyota fanboy. I just happen to know all companies have recalls and know both foreign and domestic brands make good vehicles. I've owned foreign and domestic in the past and will continue to in the future. I buy the vehicle I like the best, not the one that has a perceived better reliability advantage.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Karfreek
      • 2 Years Ago
      Recalling water pumps for failing? I think Toyota is getting a little hyper sensitive. Sometimes parts just get to an end of life...
        EXP Jawa
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Karfreek
        Maybe. But without knowing anything about what sort of service life the recalled parts are seeing, it's hard to judge. I wouldn't think that water pump on a 3 - 8 year old car would be at end of life. However, it sounds like it isn't so much the pump, but rather the motor driving it. It could be that they're wearing out faster than expected or maybe some sort of enviromental influence is shortening their lives in an unexpected way. That's essentially what happened to the electric power steering motors on Chevy Cobalts a couple years ago...
        bullitt2605
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Karfreek
        I have owned several cars well beyond 100k miles and never replaced a water pump. In fact I can only remember replacing one in all the cars I have owned. Most likely just bad parts it happens.
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Karfreek
        Toyota is damned if they do damned if they don't. They either get accused of trying to hide problems on one extreme and then being hyper sensitive on the other.
      404 not found
      • 2 Years Ago
      2.7 million affected, but no complaints? Everyone panic!
      Mike Stephenson
      • 2 Years Ago
      "should take one hour to replace" Yes and I bet if I took my car in and asked them to replace a water pump and an intermediate steering column thats all I would be charged for. One Hour. Yeah right!
        Leather Bear
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike Stephenson
        Toyota book time: Inverter coolant pump replacement = 1.2 hrs. Steering column intermediate shaft replacement = 0.9-1.0 hr unless the coupler/yoke also needs replacing, then it goes up to 2.2-2.3 hrs.
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