Toyota recalling 550,000 vehicles worldwide for potential steering problem

Toyota has announced that it is recalling more than 420,000 vehicles in the United States for a potentially faulty crank shaft pulley. A total of 283,200 Toyota vehicles as well as 137,000 Lexus vehicles may experience a pulley failure in which the inner and outer rings become misaligned. If that happens, owners may experience noise, vibration and a check engine light. If the problem is left untreated, the power steering belt may slip off of the crank shaft pulley, resulting in more steering effort. Toyota says that this could cause an accident, though no problems have been reported so far.

The recall covers the 2004 Toyota Avalon, 2004 and 2005 Toyota Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara as well as the 2006 Highlander HV, 2004 and 2005 Lexus ES 350 and RX 330. The 2006 Lexus RX 400h is also included in the recall, which covers a total of 550,000 vehicles worldwide. Toyota says that the company is currently in the process of acquiring the parts necessary to replace the faulty crank shaft pulley and that the company will inspect and replace the faulty piece free of charge. Hit the jump for the full press release.
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TORRANCE, Calif., November 9, 2011 – Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS), today announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles to replace the crankshaft pulley on the V6 engine.

There is a possibility that the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise and/or illumination of the discharge warning light. If this condition is not corrected, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley and the driver may notice a sudden increase in steering effort. There are no reports of accidents or injuries related to this condition.

The vehicles involved are certain:

* 2004 Avalon
* 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara
* 2006 Highlander HV
* 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330
* And 2006 RX400h

No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles or these Toyota models with 4 cylinder engines are involved.

Toyota is currently working on obtaining the necessary replacement parts. Once the replacement parts have been produced in sufficient quantities, Toyota will send an owner notification by first class mail advising owners to make an appointment with an authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the crankshaft pulley inspected and if necessary, replaced at no charge. The owner notifications will be mailed by first class mail beginning in January, 2012.

In the meantime, if an abnormal noise is heard coming from the engine compartment, the owner is asked to make an appointment with any Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the vehicle inspected for this condition.

Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at and the Toyota Customer Experience Center (1 800-331-4331) or and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987).

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