• curves ahead

USA Today reports that due to a steering problem, Toyota Motors is recalling about 550,000 of its vehicles worldwide. “The defect involves the crankshaft pulley on V-6 Toyota- and Lexus-brand vehicles — four-cylinder models are not affected,” the news source reports. Of the 550,000 vehicles recalled, 420,000 are in the U.S.

According to USA Today, the auto maker claims that it has received 79 reports of this defect “dating back to 2007.” However, the company did explain that no related injuries or accidents have been reported.

USA Today reported that this “recall is because the outer ring of the V-6 engine’s crankshaft pulley could become misaligned with the inner ring.” Drivers should be able to recognize this issue due to engine noise or an illuminated warning light.  When not addressed, the problem could cause the power steering pump belt to break free. According to a release produced by the company’s U.S. subsidiary, this would suddenly make steering very difficult for drivers.

The news source explains that of these 420,000 U.S. recalls, 283,000 are Toyota brand vehicles and 137,000 are Lexus models. The following models are affected by this recall:

  • 2004 Avalon
  • 2004-05 Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara
  • 2004-05 ES330 and RX330
  • 2006 Highlander hybrid
  • 2006 RX400h

USA Today stated that this recall “is of 447,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, 38,000 in Japan, 25,000 in Australia and New Zealand, 14,000 in Europe, 10,000 in the Middle East and 14,000 in Asia outside Japan.”

USA Today also pointed out that this is just the latest in a string of recalls that have plagued the auto manufacturer in the last several years. About 14 million of the automaker’s vehicles have been recalled during this period, and things do not appear to be improving for the struggling company following “the March tsunami in Japan and the recent flooding in Thailand,” which have hurt production. According to USA Today, yesterday Toyota “reported a quarterly profit of $1 billion, down 19%, and said those disasters have shaved about a billion dollars from its results.”

According to USA Today, owners of models affected by the defect with crankshaft pulley in the U.S. will start to be notified in January 2012 to take their vehicles to dealers for the necessary repairs. However, the newspaper explained that if owners hear any strange noise coming from the engine compartment, they should make an inspection appointment with a dealer immediately.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to a steering issue in one of the Toyota or Lexis models, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with automobile recalls. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve. 


Meier, Fred. (November 9, 2011) “Toyota recalls 420,000 vehicles in U.S., 550,000 worldwide.” Retrieved on November 9, 2011 from USA Today.