NHTSA will investigate steering complaints in the Toyota Corolla

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

Toyota is considering whether to issue a recall of Corolla vehicles due to steering complaints, according to Shinichi Sasaki, the carmaker's quality chief. According to a person familiar with the plan, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will open a formal investigation that will focus on vehicles from the 2009 and 2010 model years.

Automotive News said last week that a total of 83 power-steering complaints about the Corolla have been filed at the NHTSA since April 2008. Of those complaints listed, 76 cases noted that the car unexpectedly veers to either direction at 40mph and up.

A spokeswoman from the NHTSA said that the agency typically reviews the complaints to see if there's a need for an investigation due to a safety defect.

Before the agency decides to begin a formal study, it reviews and analyzes the cases in stages. Normally, these investigations are viewed as routine but the Corolla matter comes amid the recall crisis.

In fact, congressional hearings will take place next week to resolve the matter. President Akio Toyoda had said that it will outline reforms meant to restore the carmaker's quality performance.

Descriptions to these Corolla complainants have ranged from seemingly being buffeted by strong winds, sliding on black ice, or hydroplaning. At attempt to straighten the car leads to an overcorrection. In order to travel in a straight line, the driver is compelled to use a tight, persistent, two-handed grip on the wheel.

Topics: toyota, nhtsa

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