Toyota has recalled nearly 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. due to a steering issue that has been reported to the company roughly 79 times since 2007.
The company is having a difficult time lately, as its profits slid 18.5% this year due to the tsunami in Japan and consequent price shortages. Over the past two years of recalls, Toyota has been fined over $16 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failure to report unsafe parts and has been hit with 200 class-action lawsuits. Its stock price has plummeted since this past summer (and even more so since its recent high in February 2011).
Affected automobiles include the Sienna and Solara, as well as Lexus, Camry and Highlander, which you may remember were recalled in even greater numbers only last year due to a brake issue. This time around, the issue should be indicated by a warning light on the dashboard or a strange noise from the engine. If it is suspected that a car is affected, the dealer will contact the owner. If the car is in fact faulty, the problematic part will be replaced at no charge.
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