Toyota has issued a recall on some early model (2001-2003) Prius vehicles over concerns that a problem in the steering system could could lead to drivers having difficulty controlling the car.
From the recall announcement:
If the steering wheel is repeatedly and strongly turned to the full-lock position, there is a possibility the nuts securing the pinion shaft in the steering gear box assembly may become loose. If the vehicle is continuously operated in this condition, over time, the customer will gradually notice significant increased steering effort when making a left turn.
The recall accounts for 106,000 Prius vehicles worldwide, 52,000 of which were sold in the U.S. Owners of recalled cars will begin receiving notification letters in early July.
For cars affected by the recall, Toyota dealers will install improved nuts that secure the pinion shaft at no charge. The company estimates that the repair will take approximately 4 hours to complete.
Toyota owners with questions can contact the company by phone at 1-800-331-4331.