Toyota Recalls 670,000 Prius Units for Steering and Water Pump Problems
The larger recall pertains to a problem with the steering system's intermediate extension shaft. Because some extension shafts underwent an insufficient hardness treatment prior to assembly, the splines that connect the extension shaft to the steering gear box may become deformed when the steering wheel is frequently and forcefully turned to the full lock position in either direction. Over time, the deformation may cause the splines to wear out.
Toyota dealers will inspect the extension shaft of the approximately 670,000 affected vehicles, and, if necessary, will replace it free of charge.
The smaller recall impacting approximately 350,000 Prius vehicles pertains to the electric water pump for the hybrid system. The water pump circulates coolant through the hybrid system and the pump may stop functioning, which will trigger numerous warning lights on the vehicle's instrument panel. In some instances, the problem may cause the electric power supply circuit fuse to open, which would shut down the hybrid system while the car is in drive.
To resolve the problem, Toyota dealers will replace the hybrid system's electric water pump free of charge.
Toyota says it will begin notifying owners of the recalled vehicles in December 2012. Prius owners can contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 or visit www.toyota.com/recall.
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