Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling about 550,000 vehicles worldwide to replace an engine component that could hamper steering. This will include 420,000 in the U.S. Nearly 27,000 vehicles were recalled in Canada and 38,000 recalled in Japan.
Toyota-branded Camry sedan, Solara coupe, Highlander SUV and Sienna minivan for the 2004 and 2005 model years are the models involved. The 2004 Toyota Avalon sedan and 2006 Highlander HV are also covered under the recall. In addition to these, the 2006 Lexus RX 400H SUV as well as the 2004 and 2005 ES330 sedan and RX330 crossover are the Toyota luxury brand Lexus models that have been recalled.
Toyota made the statement that the outer ring of the V-6 engine's crankshaft pulley could become misaligned with the inner ring. It would be known to the driver because of noise or illumination of a warning light. But if not fixed, the power steering pump belt could come off and steering would suddenly become very difficult, Toyota said in a release.
This recalls comes in the wake of the situation where Toyota is already dealing with production woes due to the March tsunami in Japan and the recent flooding in Thailand. The company reported a quarterly profit of $1 billion, which is down to 19 percent, and also stated that those disasters have affected in taking away about a billion dollars from its results.