500,000 vehicles! I think the high production volumes must be getting to their quality? This is terrible. Just check the steering before you go anywhere.
WASHINGTON - Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it was recalling 533,000 Tundra pickup trucks and Sequoia sport utility vehicles because of potential steering problems.
Toyota said the recall involved 2004-2006 Tundra trucks and 2004-2007 Sequoia full-size SUVs. The automaker has received reports of 11 accidents and six injuries connected to the recall, said Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong.
The automaker said there was a possibility of excessive wear to a front suspension lower ball joint that could make it difficult to steer the vehicle and stay in the center of the lane. Drivers may also notice more noise coming from the front suspension, Kwong said.
Toyota recalled about 775,000 pickups and SUVs in May 2005 — one of its largest recalls ever — because of similar problems with the front suspension. The recall included 2002-2004 model years of the Tundra and Sequoia.
Kwong said the company received additional complaints involving newer models of the Tundra and Sequoia, prompting them to issue the recall.
Toyota, which is challenging General Motors Corp. to become the world's largest automaker, has aggressively touted its redesigned Tundra pickup as a strong competitor in the lucrative truck segment dominated by GM and Ford Motor Co.
The first Tundras built at Toyota's San Antonio plant are expected in showrooms next month. The automaker recently unveiled its Tundra CrewMax full-size pickup truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The large pickup will arrive in showrooms in March.
With its expansion, the automaker has struggled with some quality issues. Toyota had 2.2 million vehicle recalls in 2005, but showed improvements last year when its recalls fell to 766,000 vehicles. Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe has repeatedly vowed to enhance quality controls.
Owners will be notified in mid-February of the Sequoia and Tundra recall and dealers will replace the left and right front suspension lower ball joint at no charge to the vehicle's owners. Consumers can contact Toyota at (888) 270-9371 or (800) 331-4331.
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