Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling about 780,000 crossovers and hybrid sedans for a second time to fix looseness on rear-suspension lower arms that could cause the threads to rust and wear out, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.
The recall covers 2010 Lexus HS 250h hybrids and 2006-11 Toyota RAV4 crossovers. The original recall for both vehicles was launched in November, but Toyota said it received reports from dealers that some vehicles experienced the same symptoms as before. Drivers reported hearing abnormal noises from the rear of the vehicles.
The automaker, in documents submitted to regulators, said wear on the threaded part of the arm could cause the arm to separate, which could result in the loss of vehicle control and a crash.
Toyota and Lexus sent similar letters to their dealers on Tuesday, Sept. 3, notifying them of the second recall. “Upon investigation, it was discovered that some inspections were not adequate and portions of the repair procedure may not have been performed correctly,” the Toyota letter stated.
Toyota said it has revised the inspection and remedy procedures and is asking owners to go to dealerships to have the revised procedures performed.
But Toyota said that because of a shortage of replacement parts, owners will be notified in phases, depending on the model year and registered locations of the vehicles. Owners will be notified beginning this month, but vehicle repairs could come as late as mid-February 2014, Toyota said.
The recall covers about 18,000 of the Lexus hybrids; the rest of the vehicles affected are RAV4s, NHTSA said.