Toyota recalls 2.8m cars over steering fault
Toyota is recalling 2.8m vehicles worldwide in the second safety announcement in just over a month.
Some 75,000 Avensis and Corolla models built between July 2001 and March 2009 as well as Prius models built between July 2003 and April 2009 are being recalled over a steering fault.
The announcement follows one made on October 10 by the Japanese manufacturer which saw 7.4m Yaris, RAV4, Auris and Corolla models recalled across the globe over a potential smouldering electric window problem. In America, that fault was classed as a "fire risk".
The current safety announcement on Avensis, Corolla and Prius models has occurred after nine reported cases of a "reduction in steering response" in Europe.
The manufacturer was quick to point out the vehicles remain safe to drive following the fault and there have been no reports of any associated accidents.
A spokesman for the firm explained: "Due to insufficient hardness treatment of some of the extension shafts, the splines that connect the extension shaft to the steering gearbox 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."
For those non-technical people out there what the firm is trying to say is there's a problem and you need to get it checked. The maker has confirmed Toyota dealers will inspect the parts and replace any that need to be. The inspection and repair takes about an hour.
The Prius model can also suffer from another failure – the water pump has broken in three reported cases in Europe leading to the hybrid system to stop working.
All affected owners will be contacted by Toyota over the next six weeks. A registration look-up service has been implemented on the firm's website so owners can see if they are one of the unlucky ones to be affected.