Toyota Motor Corp. has announced two safety recalls involving Prius Vehicles.
Approximately 670,000 Prius vehicles are being recalled in the United States to inspect and in some cases replace the steering intermediate extension shaft.
Due to insufficient hardness treatment of some of the extension shafts, the splines that connect the extension shaft to the steering gear box may deform if the steering wheel is frequently and forcefully turned to the full left or full right position while driving at slow speeds. This deformation may create increased internal clearance and the splines may eventually, over time, wear out, the automaker says.
Approximately 350,000 of these same Prius vehicles are also being recalled to replace the electric water pump for the hybrid system. In the hybrid system, there is an electrically driven water pump that circulates coolant through the hybrid components to provide cooling. There is a possibility that the electric motor installed in the water pump may stop functioning, leading to illumination of various warning lights in the instrument panel. In limited instances, the electric power supply circuit fuse may open, causing the hybrid system to stop while the vehicle is being driven.
There have been no crashes or injuries reported for these two conditions, Toyota says. Owners of vehicles covered by these safety recalls will receive an owner notification letter via first class mail starting in December 2012.
Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.