Toyota recalled 106,000 first-generation Prius hybrid cars globally today for faulty steering caused by a nut that may come loose. Loose nuts in the electric-power steering can cause the vehicle, if operated over a long time, to steer with too much force. Only one minor accident, reported in the US, has been suspected of being related to the problem. There were, however, 21 complaints that may have been caused by the loose nuts, the automaker said. The issue can be fixed by putting in better nuts and will take about four hours.
This latest recall from Toyota affects 48,000 Prius vehicles in Japan, starting with the first Prius models that went on sale in 1997, and those manufactured through 2003. It also affects 58,000 vehicles sold elsewhere, including 52,000 Prius cars sold from 2001 through 2003 in the US, some 1,200 in Great Britain, and 800 in Germany, a company spokesman said. Over the last two years, Toyota has announced massive recalls ballooning to more than 14 million vehicles. (Read more Toyota stories.)