Toyota Adds Some 2010 Camry Models to Recall; Feds Looking into Corolla Steering

Already besieged by two recalls this year, Toyota Motor (TM) said Tuesday it is recalling 7,300 of its 2010 Camry sedans for possible braking problems, raising the number of cars the world's largest automaker has recalled to more than 8.5 million since last fall.Tuesday's recall of 4-cylinder Camry vehicles followed one issued hours earlier of 437,000 2010 Prius and other hybrid vehicles worldwide after customers complained of unresponsive brakes on slippery or bumpy roads. Unlike that issue, which is software-related, the Camry's problem involves a power steering hose that may come in contact with a front brake tube. The abrasion may create a hole, allowing brake fluid to leak and possibly reducing the vehicle's braking effectiveness and increasing stopping distances.

Toyota told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it hadn't received any complaints from customers about the problem involving early production Camry models, The Detroit News reported. But a worker in Kentucky discovered an abnormal noise in March that prompted an internal investigation. Toyota is also recalling Camry models in Canada and Mexico as part of the campaign, the News said.

Owners of the affected 2010 Camrys will receive notification via mail by mid-February, Toyota said. The Camry is already involved in two separate recalls involving unintended acceleration, caused either by sticky gas-pedal parts or floor mats. Some models are subject to both recalls.

Corolla Steering Under Review

Separately, the government confirmed it is examining some 80 complaints of steering problems involving 2009-10 Corolla models, according to NHTSA's website. "We are reviewing steering complaints with the Corolla," agency spokeswoman Karen Aldana said in an e-mail sent to Bloomberg News. NHTSA wants "to determine if a safety defect investigation is warranted, as is standard procedure with all complaints," Aldana said.

Toyota responded via e-mail, telling Bloomberg the company hadn't received official correspondence from NHTSA regarding the Corolla. "We will cooperate, of course, with any inquiry the agency has," Toyota spokesman Ed Lewis said.

The Corolla is the world's best-selling car. It was a darling of consumers during the federal government's short-lived "cash for clunkers" program, which offered consumers rebates of up to $4,500 if they traded in a gas guzzler. The Corolla was the No. 1 seller, while Toyota models accounted for nearly 20% of all cars sold during the four-week long initiative.
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