TORRANCE, CA – Toyota announced two safety recalls for its Prius vehicles from model years 2004 through 2009. For the first recall, the automaker is recalling approximately 670,000 Prius vehicles in the U.S. to inspect and potentially replace the steering intermediate extension shaft.
According to Toyota, the splines that connect the extension shaft to the gearing box were not treated for sufficient hardness and could deform if the driver “frequently and forcefully” turns the steering wheel to the full left or right positions while driving at slow speeds. This deformation could increase internal clearance, and over time cause the splines to wear out.
Toyota dealers will inspect the extension shaft to determine whether it requires replacement. The automaker said the inspection and repair will take roughly one hour, depending on the dealer’s work schedule.
The next recall involves replacing the electric water pump for the Prius’ hybrid system. An electrically driven water pump in the hybrid system circulates coolant. The electric motor in the unit could fail, which could lead to warning lights coming on in the instrument panel, and in extreme cases, Toyota said this could fuse the electric power supply circuit open, causing the hybrid system to stop working while the vehicle is being driven.