Toyota announced yesterday a safety recall of 778,000 vehicles—2006 to 2011 RAV4 sport-utility vehicles and 2010 Lexus 250h sedans—in the United States due to potential for loose nuts on the vehicles' rear suspension arms. The improperly tightened nuts will cause "excessive play" in the suspension arms and premature wear, which may lead to separation, warns Toyota.
Approximately 760,000 Toyota RAV4 SUVs and 18,000 Lexus HS 250h hybrids in the United States may be affected by this recall. An additional 100,000 Toyota cars—including 99,000 RAV4 SUVs—in Canada are also being recalled, reports the Detroit News. However, no other vehicles or hybrid models are being recalled at this time, said Toyota.
The Japanese car company said the loose nuts aren't a manufacturing defect; it has traced the issue back to improper maintenance work on the vehicles. Mechanics performing rear wheel alignment were not tightening the rear suspension arms nuts to proper torque specifications.
Toyota is currently working on a remedy to the safety issue with the RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h rear suspension arms and will notify affected owners once the company has a solution in place.
Consumer Reports car experts note that regular maintenance is an important part of keeping your vehicle's safety. Independent car repair shops can be less expensive than those at dealerships. But according to our Ratings of car repair shops, customer satisfaction for regular car maintenance work performed at local car repair centers tend to be slightly higher than the satisfaction with dealer shops, though the difference varies by brand. See our guide to car repair shops for more information, including tips to getting your car repaired correctly.
For more information, consumers can check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the recalled vehicles or call the toll-free Toyota Customer Experience Center (800-331-4331) or Lexus Customer Satisfaction (800-255-3987) lines.
Toyota Announces Recall of Certain RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h Vehicles [Toyota]
Toyota recalls 878K vehicles [The Detroit News]
FAQs: Recall of 2010 Lexus HS 250h [Toyota]
FAQs: Recall of 2006 to 2011 Toyota RAV4 [Toyota]