Toyota Canada Inc. has announced two more voluntary safety recalls affecting approximately 4,200 Toyota Avalons and 520 Lexus LX 470s.
The Avalon recall concerns model years 2000 to 2004 and the automaker stresses that there have been no reported accidents or injuries stemming from this issue.
Toyota representatives say the steering lock bar could break under certain circumstances because of improper casting during productions.
“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,” the company said in a release today.
If the vehicle is steered to the right with sufficient “lateral acceleration,” Toyota says a broken and loose lock bar may move toward the steering shaft.
The company says if the engagement hole in the shaft happens to line up at the specific time the broken lock bar has moved, this could cause the steering wheel lock bar to engage, locking the steering wheel, and increasing the risk of a crash.
“Toyota is not aware of any accident related to this condition.”
The steering column bracket on involved vehicles will be replaced by the manufacturer, a procedure that takes about two hours to complete depending on the dealer’s schedule.
Toyota adds it will notify owners beginning in late August 2010 to bring their vehicles to their local Toyota dealer for replacement of the steering column bracket at no charge to the customer.
The Lexus recall concerns model years 2003 to 2007 to address a steering shaft condition.
Lexus says it has determined that the construction of the steering shaft on involved LX 470s is such that the snap ring on the shaft may disengage when the vehicle experiences an unusually severe impact to the front wheels, such as striking a deep pothole.
If the snap ring becomes disengaged and the steering wheel is then repeatedly turned to the full locked position, the steering shaft may disengage over time.
Lexus Canada is not aware of any accidents related to this condition. “The remedy for this condition involves replacing the snap ring with a newly designed one and the installation of an additional component to prevent separation of the steering shaft.”
Lexus will begin sending out notification to owners in mid-August.