Toyota has issued a voluntary recall for a range of Toyota and Lexus vehicles from the 2004, 2005, and 2006 models years. According to a press release, the recall centers around a faulty crankshaft pulley, which could cause problems with the vehicles' power steering.
The flaw affects crankshafts on the automaker's V6 engines. In those engines, it's possible for the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley to separate from the inner ring; if the problem isn't addressed, the pulley may separate from the belt for the power steering pump. At the very least, that should cause a warning light to illuminate, and at worst, it could result in the loss of power steering. To date, Toyota says that there are no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem.
The recall affects V6 engines on the following models:
- 2004 Toyota Avalon
- 2004 and 2005 Toyota Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara
- 2006 Toyota Highlander HV
- 2004 and 2005 Lexus ES330 and RX330
- And 2006 Lexus RX400h
In all some 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles are involved in the recall.
Toyota is currently in the process of obtaining replacement parts for the recall, and the automaker expects to begin notifying owners of affected vehicles in January 2012. At that time, owners will be able to take their vehicle to a Toyota or Lexus dealer for inspection, and, if necessary, to have their vehicle's crankshaft replaced free of charge.
If you believe you own one of the vehicles affected by this recall and you have additional questions -- especially if you hear an unusual noise coming from the engine compartment -- you're encouraged to contact your local Toyota or Lexus dealer. You can also call Toyota at 800-331-4331 or Lexus at 800-255-3987, or visit www.toyota.com/recall or www.lexus.com/recall.