Toyota recalling 670,000 Prius hybrids in the United States

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 15, 2012

Toyota Motor Corp. has issued the recall of 2.77 million vehicles throughout the world to repair a possible water pump problem and steering defect. The recall includes 670,000 Prius hybrids in the U.S. The recall over the electric water pump problem covers five models worldwide for a total of 630,000 vehicles. On the other hand, the steering recall covers 10 models throughout the world for a 2.76 million vehicles.

The two recalls affect around 620,000 second-generation Prius hybrids, placing the net figure at 2.77 million units. The U.S. recall involves 2004 to 2009 model years of the Prius. This recall was announced only a month after Toyota issued its biggest-ever recall for a single component. The recall covers 7.43 million vehicles to repair a defective power-window switch.

The dealerships in the U.S. will examine the intermediate extension shaft in Prius steering systems. If necessary, these will be replaced. Toyota said that the splines that connect the steering shaft to the steering gear box can distort after a while with vigorous steering.

The company said that it takes one hour to inspect and fix the problem. They will also conduct inspections on around 350,000 of those 670,000 Prius models in the U.S. in order to fix the electric water pump, which makes the coolant circulate through the hybrid drivetrain parts.

The electric motor that drives the pump could stop, making the car's hybrid powertrain stop when the car is being driven. Spokesman Dion Corbett said that no reports or injuries were reported related to either of these two problems.

Notices about the recall will be sent to owners beginning December. Customers can bring their cars to the dealerships to be repaired at no extra cost. The recall last October for the defective power window switches was the biggest single recall in the industry since Ford Motor Co. recalled 8 million vehicles in 1996.

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