The Toyota Prius is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for an improperly fitted steering shaft that may lead to the loss of steering control. This is the second time that this hybrid model (which has been offered from 2004 to 2009) has been caught in this type of dilemma.
According to Fox News, the NHTSA has initiated the probe over a petition that was filed by Automotive Systems Analysis that found that the upper steering shaft of a 2005 Toyota Prius had come loose from the electric power steering column.
The NHTSA said that the agency has received only one complaint about the steering column failing. However, there are presently two other complaints on the NHTSA’s websites that mentions having to replace the steering and steering column under warranty.
These complaints state that drivers lost control of steering control. A recall has not been issued yet but if it will, as many as 561,000 vehicles may be affected.
Last fall, Toyota recalled 2004-2009 Prius units to fix steering shaft splines that could wear or deform over time. Dealers examined the vehicles and they had the splines replaced if needed. This new probe is slightly different since it involves the entire steering shaft assembly.