Could the Corolla Be Toyota’s Next Recall?

The Toyota Corolla subcompact has been the subject of dozens of reports involving power steering problems. According to the Associated Press, Toyota has said it will “consider” a recall if the Corolla’s reported power steering issues involve the safety of the driver.

The Corolla is Toyota’s best-selling car, with around 1.3 million models sold around the world last year. At a news conference this morning, Shinichi Sasaki, who oversees quality at Toyota Motor Corp., said drivers have reported feeling as though they were losing control over the steering. According to Sasaki, the complaints involving the Corolla amount to fewer than 100.

It is not yet known what might be causing the alleged Corolla problems, but possibilities include the braking system and tires.

A Corolla recall would be the last thing Toyota needs right now. Since last fall, Toyota has recalled millions of cars for problems involving sudden acceleration and faulty brakes. It all started in September, when Toyota announced it was recalling and replacing floor mats on approximately 4.2 million vehicles which were allegedly causing accelerator pedals in the vehicles to become stuck in the depressed position, leading to uncontrollable and rapid acceleration of the vehicle. On January 21, Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles due to accelerator pedals on those vehicles becoming stuck in a depressed position, causing unexpected and unsafe acceleration.

As we’ve reported previously, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has now received more than 2,000 complaints of sudden, unintended acceleration with Toyota and Lexus vehicles that involve 34 deaths and hundreds of accidents since 2000.

Last week, Toyota recalled more than 400,000 hybrid vehicles, including the 2010 Prius and the Lexus HS250h, to fix their brakes. The NHTSA said it had opened an investigation into the 2010 Prius relating to reports of momentary loss of braking capability while traveling over an uneven road surface, pothole or bump. The NHTSA said it had received 124 reports from consumers, including four reports alleging that crashes occurred. A week after the recall was announced, the NHTSA had received a total of 1,120 complaints alleging 34 crashes and six injuries involving Prius brakes.

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