2010 Toyota RAV4

Toyota is re-recalling hundreds of thousands of cars to fix their suspension, because the first recall did not work, reports John Matarese for ABC Action News. Jennifer Geiger writes for the Cars.com blog Kicking Tires that the recall involves more than 780,000 versions of the 2006-2011 model year Toyota RAV4 compact crossover, and 2010 Lexus HS 250h compact hybrid sedan. The recall affects only vehicles manufactured between October 2005 and September 2010, and you can find your vehicle’s build date on the doorjamb sticker, Geiger writes.

The problem is that rear-wheel alignment nuts that were not properly tightened, and could cause unwanted movement in the rear suspension arm, which could allow rust to build up. The rust could lead to thread damage, eventual tie-rod failure, and possible loss of vehicle control, Geiger writes, which could result in an accident. Totoya spokeswoman Cindy Knight told Matarese the company has received reports of several crashes and three injuries from this suspension fallure.

Matarese writes about one woman who almost had an accident because of a bad recall repair. Her husband was driving their Toyota at the time on a highway:

‘The car, he couldn’t control it,’ [Charlene] York said. ‘He ended up going across the passing lane, and into the median. At that moment it felt like our life was passing before our eyes.’

Luckily they stopped the car without a crash.

A tow truck took it to  a nearby Toyota dealer, who diagnosed a broken suspension part, which allowed the wheel to flop around, according to her service invoice.

They found that the Yorks’ car’s rear wheel was bent in, at almost a 45-degree angle, Matarese writes. York, he adds, was shocked because just a few weeks earlier, her Toyota dealer did a recall repair on the same suspension part, but the repair apparently did not fix the problem.

To repair the vehicles, dealers will inspect the tie rods and replace any of them that have rust or corrosion on the alignment adjustment threads. They will then encase all of the rear tie rods in epoxy to prevent damage in the future, Geiger writes. There is no charge to car owners for the repairs, she notes.

She quotes NHTSA:

‘Due to limitations in parts, the recall remedy will be launched in phases from September 2013 through February 2014. All owners will receive notification of the recall, with most receiving second notifications when parts are available in their area,’ NHTSA said in a statement.

Toyota’s Knight told Matarese that re-recalls are not so uncommon. For more information, car owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331.

Image by KOMUnews.

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