Toyota Motor Corp. announced Wednesday that it will be voluntarily recalling 778,000 of its RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h models in the U.S., due to a possible rear suspension arm failure following a rear-end alignment service.
Toyota recall is announced
The recall affects 760,000 RAV4 SUVs from the model years 2006 through early 2011. In addition, it also affects 18,000 Lexus HS 250h sedan from the model year 2010.
Rear-wheel alignment may prompt issue
According to Toyota, the problem can occur following a maintenance procedure. The automaker said, in a a statement:
“If the nuts on the rear suspension arm are not tightened following the proper procedure and torque specification during a rear-wheel alignment service, excessive play may occur at the threaded portion of the arm, followed by rust formation.”
That play could eventually cause the suspension arm to come loose, Toyota said.
Only those vehicles that have undergone service for alignment will need to be inspected for the problem, said the automaker.
The recall was prompted by a June 2012 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation into RAV4s from the model years 2006 through 2008. The probe was launched because of seven reports of suspension failures due to rust in the SUVs. The investigation concluded that the rear suspension could fail “due to corrosion, potentially causing a loss of vehicle control.”
Related accidents and injuries
Accidents and injuries have occurred because of the problem. Toyota spokesman Brian R. Lyons wrote:
“In the United States, there are nine crashes and three minor injuries alleged to be related to this condition.”
Fix is still pending
No time frame has yet been announced for the campaign. Toyota has not, as yet, determined a fix for the issue. When that problem has been solved, it will send notification to the affected orders by first-class mail, requesting them to make a service appointment at a local Toyota or Lexus dealership. The fix, whatever it turns out to be, will, of course, be performed free of charge.
Until that time, Toyota is urging affected owners to contact a dealer immediately if they should hear an unusual noise coming from the rear of the vehicle.
Second RAV4 recall
This campaign is the second recall of the popular RAV4 this year. That previous recall was over airbag issues, but affected less than 500 units.