Steering, Other Problems Lead to New Toyota Recalls

Bigger issue could leave Camry sedan with “complete loss” of power steering.

by on Mar.12, 2015

The Toyota Camry got a major update for 2015.

Toyota has ordered up several new recalls for a variety of issues, the most serious potentially leading to a “complete loss” of power steering in several of its most popular models, including the recently redesigned Camry sedan.

Though it would still allow a driver to muscle through turns, the maker warned, the problem “increases the risk of a crash.”

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The second problem could cause some of Toyota’s RAV4 EV battery cars to unexpectedly shift into neutral making it impossible to move out of the way were the issue to occur while on a freeway or in a traffic jam.

Toyota’s announcement comes as rival Honda launches a new ad campaign encouraging owners to take millions of its vehicles into dealers to replace potentially defective airbags linked to at least five deaths.

(New study predicts recalls likely to remain high in years ahead. Click Here for more.)

The biggest of the new Toyota recalls covers about 110,000 2015 Camry and Camry Hybrid sedans, Highlander and Highlander Hybrid SUVs, and 2014-2015 RAV4 SUVs.

The maker says a circuit board in the power steering unit “may have been damaged during manufacturing. In some instances, the system could lose all boost, and while it would still be possible to turn, that would become much more difficult.

A warning light on the dashboard will illuminate should the problem occur – though a motorist would quickly discover the issue in the way the steering felt.

The Camry is the best-selling passenger car in the U.S., last month lagging behind only two pickup truck models in terms of overall sales.

(What are the best family cars in the U.S.? Click Here to find out.)

Toyota recently killed off the RAV4 EV.

Toyota’s second recall involves the low-volume 2012-2014 RAV4 EV, a battery-electric vehicle sold in only a handful of selected markets. Developed in a joint venture with Tesla Motors, it could experience a software glitch that would lead the vehicle to unexpectedly shift into neutral. The issue would also trigger a “Check EV” warning light.

If the problem occurs, a motorist may not have the ability to move out of the way of traffic, something that could also increase the risk of a crash, Toyota warned.

The maker plans to notify owners by mail and will complete repairs at no charge.

The two new Toyota recalls come during a month in which a number of other safety-related service actions were announced, including one by Nissan covering 640,000 Altima sedans due to potential defective hood latches.

(For more on the Nissan Altima recall, Click Here.)

Industry experts warn that the big surge in recalls that began last year with General Motors’ ignition switch defect is likely to continue going forward as manufacturers come under closer government and consumer scrutiny.

A special victims’ compensation fund set up by GM this week confirmed the death toll linked to those faulty switches now stands at 64 and could increase.

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