Toyota is recalling half a million vehicles – many in the US – over a potential steering problem. There have been no reports of any accidents relating to the problem, but the company is clearly being cautious in the wake of other problems experienced in recent years.
The recall is allegedly due to a problem with the outer ring of the engine’s crankshaft pulley, which may become misaligned with the inner ring. If this happens, a warning signal will light up but if the problem is not corrected, the belt for the power steering pump might become detached from the pulley and steering would potentially become more difficult.
The year has been tough for Toyota so far. The company recently said its July to September profit slid 18.5% to 80.4 billion yen ($1 billion), partly because of spare parts problems relating to the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier this year. Flooding in Thailand, where Toyota has a significant presence, is also feared to have an impact on the car manufacturer’s operations.