Starting this week, more than 400,000 Lexus and Avalon models released in the last ten years will be recalled because of faulty steering-shafts. Toyota discovered the shafts in the recalled vehicles would crack under certain degrees of pressure, which would cause, in one situation reported so far, the column to disengage completely. The recall of the vehicles in question, 39,000 2003-2007 Model Year LX 470 and 373,000 2000-2004 Model Year Toyota Avalons sold in the United States, will be a completely voluntary recall, and one in which anyone can participate.
In the recall press releases for the Avalon and Lexus vehicles, Toyota stated:
“Because of improper casting of the steering lock bar, which is a component of the steering interlock system, there is a possibility that a minute crack may develop on the surface. Such a crack may expand over a long period of repeated lock and unlock operations, and eventually the lock bar could break. If this occurs, the interlock system may become difficult to unlock when stationary.”
In total, approximately 8.5 million vehicles have been recalled over the last year, and most came after the initial slew, and many believe the larger amount of recalls has come from an improvement of quality control on Toyota’s part. In pair with the drastic sales opportunities available to the new and old Toyota customers, it is clear there are many changes going through the company’s ranks.