In what would be yet another blow to the embattled automaker, Toyota is considering recalling an unspecified number of its Corolla subcompact cars due to complaints about the power steering, according to the Associated Press.
Toyota says that it has received 80 complaints from drivers of 2009 and 2010 Corollas and that these drivers describe losing control over the steering. This could be caused by something unrelated to the power steering system, such as braking or the tires.
In his review on Cars.com, Kelsey Mays noted, “The Corolla imparts a sloppy driving experience. Hit an expansion joint while rounding an off-ramp, and the wheels shimmy sideways significantly. The steering wheel has a comfortable on-center feel, but it turns with a numb, distant feel, and hard corners elicit plenty of body roll.”
The Corolla is the best-selling car worldwide, and while it is not clear how many cars a recall would net, it would be significant.
More Toyota recall news after the jump:
- The Los Angeles Times reports on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launching “an extraordinary challenge” to Toyota with three investigations questioning how the automaker handled its recall of vehicles for sudden acceleration issues. NHTSA has demanded engineering reports, internal communications and customer complaints, among other documentation. It also wants access to employees who knew about the complaints. The agency, which had previously closed six of eight investigations into sudden acceleration of Toyotas, now wants to know how promptly and adequately the automaker issued and executed its recalls.
- Toyota President Akio Toyoda has said he will not attend congressional hearings in Washington and gives his full backing to Toyota’s North American chief, Yoshimi Inaba. Inaba is scheduled to appear before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Feb. 24. Toyoda has said he will appear if a formal request is made.
- Agitation has grown over what Toyota’s black boxes might be able to say about accidents involving the automaker’s vehicles. The black box is similar to an airplane’s, though less sophisticated. The event data recorder tracks vehicle and engine speeds, braking, accelerating, throttle positions and other data important in determining what happened in an accident. According to Daily Finance, similar devices in cars built by U.S. automakers can have their data retrieved by third parties, but Toyota’s black box data can be viewed only by Toyota.
- Toyota’s pain may be Korean automakers’ gain, according to Kelley Blue Book. Recent market data suggests that Kia and Hyundai are benefiting the most from Toyota’s troubles as their customers become more loyal to those brands. Loyalty and consideration for those owners looking at new Kia and Hyundai models have jumped by 17.1 and 10.5 percentage points, respectively. Chevy and Ford have also benefited, increasing their loyalty and consideration numbers by 6.5 and 4.6 percentage points, respectively. Meanwhile, Toyota’s brand loyalty has fallen 6.5 percentage points after its slew of recalls.