The recall, which relates to a potential fault with the steering systems of nine different models including the Toyota Corolla, comes five weeks after the company was forced to recall 7.4 million vehicles globally over a power window defect.
A total of 12,710 second-generation Toyota Prius hybrids built between May 2003 and April 2009 are affected by the recall in Australia. There are three known instances of the defect in Australian-delivered vehicles, but no reports of accidents or injuries relating to steering malfunction.
In an official statement, Toyota Australia explains there is a possibility that the steering intermediate extension shaft on the designated Prius vehicles may not have been adequately hardened at the time of production.
“If this occurred, the steering shaft may become loose while driving under certain conditions. This includes forcefully turning the steering wheel to full lock while driving at a slow speed or sudden contact with road gutters.
“In the worst case scenario, if motorists continue to drive under these conditions the steering shaft may eventually wear out, resulting in the loss of steering ability.”
Toyota Australia will contact all affected owners by mail at their last known address encouraging them to arrange an appointment with their preferred Toyota dealer.
All affected vehicles will be inspected by an authorised Toyota Australia dealer, who will replace any defective parts.
The inspection and any repairs should take around one hour to complete and will be conducted at no cost to the owner.
The recall is yet another hit to Toyota’s once bulletproof reputation for quality and reliability.
In 2009-2010, the company was forced to recall approximately nine million Toyota and Lexus vehicles around the world to correct issues with sliding floor mats and sticking accelerator pedals.