The Basics: Toyota is recalling 337,000 2006-2011 model year Toyota RAV4 crossovers built between October 31, 2005 and September 7, 2010 as well as 2010 model year Lexus HS250h cars built between July 6, 2009 and August 26, 2010.
The Problem: When either an affected RAV4 or HS250h is given an alignment and the tie rod adjustment nut on the rear control arm isn't tightened properly, the threads on the tie rod can start to rust. If this happens, the nut may break off and throw off the alignment drastically and suddenly. This isn't a case of the car simply pulling to one side, either. This would seriously upset the balance of the car and could cause the driver to lose control and crash. This is also the third time these vehicles have been recalled for the same issue.
The Fix: The dealer will completely replace the rear suspension assemblies at no cost to the owner. The tie rods and nuts will also be coated in epoxy to prevent future rusting from occurring. According to Car and Driver, the previous recalls involved tightening nuts, coating decent tie rods in epoxy and completely replacing rusted ones. The car magazine reports that further complaints were filed and the company is now replacing all components regardless of condition.
If you own one: Toyota will notify owners of affected cars by mail. Owners can also check whether their cars are affected by entering the VIN at safercar.gov/vin. Owners with questions can also reach Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987.