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*Update* Toyota Motor Corporation – Japan has advised the electric power-steering system used in Corolla models sold in Australia is different from that used for models sold in the United States.

In another twist in the Toyota recall saga the US highway safety officials are rumoured to begin a formal investigation into complaints about the Toyota Corolla’s steering.

According to an anonymous source inside the agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will concentrate its efforts on 2009 and 2010 model year Corollas.

The problem may result in Toyota recalling the Corolla with the automaker’s quality chief, Shinichi Sasaki, stating earlier today that Toyota may consider a Corolla recall.

According to Automotive News U.S.A, the Toyota Corolla has had 83 power-steering complaints filed against it since April 2008. More than three quarters of the complaints say that the vehicle unexpectedly veers to the left or right at 40 miles (64km) an hour and up. They further suggest that after attempting to straighten the car, it may overcorrect. There have been no cases of the issue reported to Toyota Australia.

As the new models make use of an electric power steering system, the problem may simply be due to a change in steering response compared with the older Corollas which used a hydraulic power steering system.

Such an investigation by U.S authorities is normal procedure when complaints are lodged and a process which happens to all manufacturers, nonetheless the timing couldn’t be worst for Toyota amid an escalating recall crisis.

The recall issues have become a nightmare for the Big T as the Americans make the automaker the focus of congressional hearings next week.

The Toyota Corolla is the best selling car in the world, having built its reputation on reliability.