Toyota is recalling about 670,000 Toyota Prius vehicles in the U.S. because of problems with vehicles' steering.
In addition, 350,000 of these same vehicles are being recalled because of problems with the electric water pump for the hybrid system, Toyota announced on Wednesday.
According to Toyota:
Due to insufficient hardness treatment of some of the extension shafts, the splines that connect the extension shaft to the steering gear box may deform if the steering wheel is frequently and forcefully turned to the full left or full right position while driving at slow speeds. This deformation may create increased internal clearance and the splines may eventually, over time, wear out.
Toyota dealers will inspect the extension shaft to determine if it needs to be replaced and, if confirmed, will replace it. The inspection and repair will take approximately one hour depending on the dealer’s work schedule.
In regards to the electrically driven water pump, Toyota said the item “circulates coolant through the hybrid components to provide cooling. There is a possibility that the electric motor installed in the water pump may stop functioning, leading to illumination of various warning lights in the instrument panel. In limited instances, the electric power supply circuit fuse may open, causing the hybrid system to stop while the vehicle is being driven.
“Toyota dealers will replace the electric water pump for the hybrid system. The repair will take approximately two hours depending on the dealer’s work schedule,” said Toyota.
The car company said there have been no crashes or injuries reported as part of the two recalls. Toyota will mail a notification letter to vehicle owners affected by the recall starting next month. There will be no charge to the vehicle owner as long as they go through an authorized Toyota dealer.
For more information, go to www.toyota.com/recall or call Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.