Toyota recalls 106,000 Prius hybrids

By Associated Press
June 2, 2011

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TOKYO — Toyota recalled 106,000 first-generation Prius hybrid cars globally yesterday for faulty steering caused by a nut that may come loose.

The single minor accident suspected of being related to the problem was reported in the United States, according to Toyota Motor Corp.

The latest recall from Toyota, which has taken a hit to its reputation from massive recalls worldwide, affects 48,000 Prius vehicles in Japan, starting with the first Prius models that went on sale in 1997, and those manufactured through 2003.

It also affects 58,000 vehicles sold abroad, including 52,000 Prius cars sold from 2001 through 2003 in the United States, some 1,200 in Great Britain, and 800 in Germany, company spokesman Paul Nolasco said.

Toyota says loose nuts in the electric power steering can cause the vehicle, if operated over a long time, to steer with too much force.

The problem can be fixed by putting in better nuts and will take about four hours, it said.

Also in the United States and Canada, Toyota recalled 34 Venza and 16 Sienna 2011 model vehicles to replace an insufficiently treated driveshaft. The driveshaft could break, causing the vehicle to stall, according to Toyota. Over the last two years, Toyota has announced recalls ballooning to more than 14 million vehicles.