Toyota Prius, the hybrid hatchback that has dominated automotive reliability ratings for more than a decade, is set for a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 106,000 vehicles.
The safety recall, which involves Prius cars built between 2001 and 2003, is intended to replace the electric power steering pinion shaft attachment nuts, , according to a press release issued by Toyota yesterday. “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 come loose,” the release said. “If the vehicle is continually operated in this condition, over time, the customer will gradually notice significantly increased steering effort when making a left turn.”
Toyota says it will install improved nuts at no charge to the vehicle owner. Owner notification letters will begin in July.
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
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