By Jennifer Geiger on September 9, 2013
Vehicles Affected: More than 780,580 versions of the model-year 2006-11 Toyota RAV4 compact crossover and 2010 Lexus HS 250h compact hybrid sedan. Only vehicles manufactured between October 2005 and September 2010 are affected; check your vehicle's build date on the doorjamb sticker.
The Problem: Improperly tightened rear-wheel alignment nuts could cause unwanted movement in the rear suspension arm and allow rust to build. This could lead to thread damage, eventual tie-rod failure and the possible loss of vehicle control. This is an expansion of an earlier recall, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "all vehicles that have been inspected and remedied under the previous recall need to be reinspected and have the appropriate remedy applied."
The Fix: Dealers will inspect the tie rods and replace any that have rust or corrosion on the alignment adjustment threads for free. All of the rear tie rods will then be encased in an epoxy to prevent future damage. "Due to limitations in parts, the recall remedy will be launched in phases from September 2013 through February 2014. All owners will receive notification of the recall, with most receiving second notifications when parts are available in their area," NHTSA said in a statement.
What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 or NHTSA's safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more information.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer