Looks like all isn’t good with the Prius afterall! Toyota Australia has put out a recall for all Priuses NHW20 model vehicles produced in Japan during the period July 2003 through to November 2005 to come back to a Toyota dealership to have their steering fixed. According to Toyota:
On certain vehicles that are subjected to operating conditions where a large steering force is repeatedly applied (such as when the steering wheel is turned forcefully to full lock position or the tyre is in contact with the roadside curb) there is a possibility that the steering intermediate shaft may become loose or develop a crack.
Hmm that doesn’t sound very good? 2596 of the vehicles are going to be recalled in Australia. Given that I am sure the Pruis uses many of the same components as the other Toyota’s will the recall effect any other models? Apparently not
In addition to Prius… models of Corolla and Avensis [are also affected] that are not available in Australia because they use a different type of steering mechanism. As a result, Corolla and Avensis models in Australia are not affected.
Well I guess the only good thing is they will fix it for you free of charge! If you got a prius that is affected by this problem, expect a letter from Toyota around now. Otherwise, just take it in to a dealer and ask them if you are not sure.