Toyota Recalls 373,000 Avalons Over Steering Issue

The recall tab for Toyota keeps adding up, as the world’s largest automaker announced a recall of 373,000 Toyota Avalons “to address the possibility that the vehicle’s steering lock bar could break under certain conditions.”

The affected Avalons are from model years 2000-2004.

From Toyota’s recall announcement:

Because of improper casting of the steering lock bar, which is a component of the steering interlock system, there is a possibility that a minute crack may develop on the surface. Such a crack may expand over a long period of repeated lock and unlock operations, and eventually the lock bar could break. If this occurs, the interlock system may become difficult to unlock when stationary.

If the vehicle while being driven is steered to the right with sufficient lateral acceleration, a broken and loose lock bar may move toward the steering shaft. If the engagement hole in the shaft happens to line up at the specific time the broken lock bar has moved, this could cause the steering wheel lock bar to engage, locking the steering wheel, and increasing the risk of a crash.

The car company says they will begin notifying owners of recalled vehicles by mail in late August. Toyota dealerships will replace the steering column bracket — which they say should take about about two hours — for free.

Toyota Announces Intent to Voluntarily Recall Certain Toyota Avalons to Replace Steering Column Bracket [Toyota press release]

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Anyone else never heard of an Avalon before?

  2. areaman says:

    Remember when Toyota wanted to “retest” their Lexus SUV because they doubted CR’s test track???

    Who will they blame now? LOL

  3. smo0 says:

    That sounds… really specific…. which leads me to believe less than 1% of those recalled cars may ever have this issue.

    A co-worker told me of a steering lock incident he had on a car (that was NOT toyota) that was completely his fault…. I think, combined, this would happen to more cars over all than specifically branded toyota autos… although – funny funny.

    All of these recalls are for a specific time period – are they still investigating the “changes” made to the company during that time?

    • ffmariners says:

      1% would be VERY significant. It would be a much much smaller number than that.

      • smo0 says:

        I said less than 1%…. maybe.. one car? is one car too many?

        • ffmariners says:

          “which leads me to believe less than 1% of those recalled cars may ever have this issue.”

          And all I said was that 1% is a very significant number. You left a wide range open by saying less than 1%.

          I would go further and say that I bet less than .01% of Avalons would ever face this issue. It requires the planets to align at the exact right moment.

          Difference? You are saying “Less than 3700 of those recalled” and I am saying “Less than 37″ and even then I am probably over estimating.

          A huge order of magnitude which would turn this from a HUGE issue to an issue worth noting.

  4. Yoya says:

    Boo consumerist… If your going to do bashing then everytime there is a vehicle recall it should be posted on here and not just when its toyota.. This site is heading downhill.

  5. gomichaelkgo says:

    This recall combined with the recall covering steering rods points to: —> Inferior Chinese metallurgy in low cost outsourced parts. I’m sure other manufacturers will be affected.

  6. pantheonoutcast says:

    I’m surprised they just didn’t blame the driver’s shirtsleeves interfering with the steering wheel.

  7. jim says:

    eh, they are trying to be proactive and most people here are just being asses. well, you guys need to do a better job. I am looking for a new used car and the prices are still high. maybe because consumers don’t actually believe all the BS that has been spouted repeatedly about toyota.