The hits just keep coming for Toyota. They recently announced yet another recall which affects about 373,000 vehicles. In particular, the Toyota Avalon and the Lexus LX 470 are under scrutiny. According to this news report from USA Today, those vehicles were manufactured with a steering lock bar that can potentially crack. When this happens, it can lead to a broken car altogether. If your car isn’t moving, this broken bar can make it extremely difficult to unlock the wheel.
However, if you are moving and make a hard right turn while accelerating, the steering wheel can then lock in place. This would make it nearly impossible to straighten your vehicle back out again and could result in you colliding with another vehicle, building, telephone pole, you name it. There is a snap ring located on the steering shaft which can actually disengage after your front wheels suffer impact. Even just driving over some potholes can cause this to happen.
According to Toyota’s chief quality officer in North America, “Toyota is continuing to work diligently to address safety issues wherever they arise and to strengthen our global quality assurance operations so that Toyota owners can be confident in the safety of their vehicles.” They will be notifying owners of the recall by mail in late August. As a personal injury attorney in Bellevue, I can’t understand why they wouldn’t just mail out the notification now if they know it’s a safety issue?