In the world of mass-produced vehicles, automakers try to cut corners as much as possible as end pricing of new vehicles slowly increase. This being the case, it’s become so common for safety-related recalls that it seems there’s at least one serious recall each month of the year. Well, we’re only two days into September 2016, and sure enough, another recall notice manages to make its way to my desk. This time, Toyota is performing a recall for 2006 to 2011 Toyota RAV 4 models built between October 31, 2005 and September 7, 2010, and 2010 Lexus HS250h models built between July 6, 2009 and August 26, 2010.
While this is a safety related recall, it’s not as bad as some of the other recalls that have been announced this year. The problem involves the rear control arm on the aforementioned models. If, during a four-wheel alignment, the nut on the rear tie rods aren’t tightened properly, the threads on the tie rod can rust, and the nut could suddenly sheer off. If this happens, the wheel alignment is drastically affected can cause sudden loss of control.
This is a pretty serious problem, but you’re only at risk if the nut wasn’t tightened properly during the last alignment. As is the usual case with safety-related recalls, your local dealer can carry out the recall procedure which involves replacing the rear tie rods. The recall is expected to begin on September 30, 2016, and Toyota will notify all owners on record. There is a total of 337,449 vehicles affected.
Why it Matters
So far, there have been no reported cases of injury or death as a result of these faulty rear tie rods, however, I want to point out that this is the third time these vehicles have been recalled for the same problem. On previous recalls, tie rods that were still in good condition were coated with epoxy, while those that showed corrosion or damage were simply replaced. As part of this recall, all affected vehicles will receive new rear tie rods, even if the previous recalls have already been performed. To see if you’re RAV 4 or Lexus HS250H is affected by this new recall, you can arm yourself with your car’s VIN (this can be found by looking through the lower, driver’s side corner of the windshield, on your vehicle registration, or on your vehicle’s title) and head over to safecar.gov’s VIN lookup.