550,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles recalled for power steering problems


Toyota is issuing a voluntary safety recall for about 420,000 vehicles in the United States and 550,000 vehicles worldwide to replace a crankshaft pulley on its V6 engine. In the US, 283,200 Toyotas and 137,000 Lexus vehicles are affected, and all are in the 2004, 2005, and 2006 model years. According to Toyota, the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley could become misaligned on the cars. If left uncorrected, the power steering pump could become detached from the pulley, meaning a driver could suddenly lose power steering.

If you own one of these vehicles with a V6, then you qualify for this recall:

  • 2004 Avalon
  • 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara
  • 2006 Highlander HV
  • 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330
  • And 2006 RX400h

As someone who has had a Toyota Camry lose its power steering, I must say that it is not a pleasant affair. This doesn’t sound nearly as bad as the unintended acceleration problems Toyota’s were recalled for a couple years back, but Reuters reports that more than 3.3 million vehicles have been recalled by Toyota in the last two years.

If you hear any “abnormal noise” coming from the engine compartment, please contact your local Toyota or Lexus dealer. Toyota will replace the crankshaft pulley. You can contact Toyota customer service at  www.toyota.com/recall (800-331-4331) or Lexus customer service at www.lexus.com/recall (800-255-3987). 

[Image via TopSpeed]