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The Detroit News is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will investigate some 561,000 Toyota Prius models for potentially defective steering shafts. The affected hybrid models are from the 2004-2009 model years. The story indicates that NHTSA is weighing whether or not to grant a defect petition, which claims that Toyota incorrectly assembled the hatchback's steering linkage.

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Toyota is recalling sixteen models from the 2009 to 2013 model years over a potential issue with passenger seat airbag calibration. In spite of the large number of different Toyotas covered by the recall, just 3,235 units are included. These were vehicles installed with accessories like leather seat covers and headrest DVD systems by Southeast Toyota Distributors, and during the modifications the passenger seat occupant sensor system might not have been calibration tested. If the sensors aren't

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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, th

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Toyota engineers have worked hard to get the emissions that come out of the tailpipe of the Prius V down to a low level, but that doesn't mean everything is copacetic with the car's exhaust system. To fix a known problem, Toyota has announced a service campaign for the Prius V, both in the U.S. and Japan.

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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.

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Somehow, we're guessing that the "any publicity is good publicity" cliche isn't ringing particularly true with Toyota these days. That said, we do have to give some props to the automaker for being open about the current state of its recent recall woes. According to Toyota, roughly 3.2 million of its many recall notices have been fulfilled.

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Ever since the whole Toyota recall debacle exploded late in 2009, one of the company's biggest problems has been the way it has responded to the problems. Many have criticized Toyota for either ignoring the problems or pretending that there is nothing wrong, but the company is now seeking to address that appearance by setting up rapid response teams to deal with reported incidents of unintended acceleration.

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2009 Toyota Camry – Click above for high-res image gallery

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The past few days have seen a new rash of stories about Toyotas run amok. First, a 2009 Venza struck a house in Hamilton, Ontario. According to The Hamilton Spectator, the driver said he lost control of the vehicle after experiencing uncontrolled acceleration. While 2009-2010 Venzas were recalled for the infamous floor-mat issue, police have yet to determine whether the Hamilton incident was a result of faulty hardware or driver error. No one was injured.

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Toyota announced an all out recall of both floor mats and accelerator pedals beginning in late 2009, but the issue was clearly known by the company years prior. Recent reports indicated that the automaker was well aware of floor mat-related issues dating back to early 2007. Not only was the company aware of the issue, it responded by posting a technical service bulletin (TSB).

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Second-gen Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Last week we told you about an incident in New York involving unintended acceleration in a 2005 Toyota Prius. This accident occurred just after the high-profile case involving Jim Sikes and his runaway Prius in San Diego, but unlike that incident where the car eventually came to a complete stop, the New York Prius crashed into a stone wall with the driver suffering minor, non-life threatening injuries.

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In reality, the California Highway Patrol isn't taking sides with anyone regarding the recent speeding Prius of Jim Sikes. But the CHP doesn't see any reason to doubt Sikes' version of events that led to his hybrid reaching speeds of around 90 miles per hour, apparently unable to bring the barreling vehicle to a stop. Also of note is the fact that a Border Patrol agent had also responded and was leading the Prius with its emergency lights on when the CHP officer arrived.

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