2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Toyota announced today that it is recalling a number of vehicles for a defect that could make them harder to steer. In total, the voluntary recall affects 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles that were sold in the U.S. Toyota models subject to the recall include the 2004 Avalon and 2006 Highlander Hybrid, as well as Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara vehicles from the 2004-05 model years. Lexus recalls include 2004-05 ES330 and RX330 vehicles, as well as the 2006 RX400h.

These models are being recalled due to a defective crankshaft pulley, which affects Toyota and Lexus vehicles with a V6 engine. “There is a possibility that the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise and/or illumination of the discharge warning light,” says Toyota in a press release. “If this condition is not corrected, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley and the driver may notice a sudden increase in steering effort.”

Toyota Spokesman Dion Corbett told the Associated Press that no accidents or injuries have resulted from this condition. Toyota will contact owners of affected cars and SUVs starting in January, and will inspect and replace parts (if needed) free of charge. However, if you own an affected Toyota or Lexus vehicle, and hear an abnormal noise coming from the engine compartment, the automaker suggests you make an appointment with a Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the vehicle inspected.

Toyota owners can call 1-800-331-4331 or visit www.toyota.com/recall for more information. Lexus owners can get detailed information at 1-800-255-3987 or by visiting www.lexus.com/recall.

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