Toyota is recalling more than 400,000 Lexus and Toyota models from 2004-2006 because of a potentially faulty crankshaft pulley that could result in steering problems in V6 engines.
The voluntary recall includes models: Toyota Avalon (2004), Toyota Camry (2004, 2005) Toyota Highlander (2004, 2005), Toyota Sienna (2004, 2005), Toyota Solara (2004, 2005), Toyota Highlander HV (2006), Lexus ES330 (2004, 2005), Lexus RX330 (2004, 2005) and Lexus RX400h (2006).
If the crankshaft pulley is faulty, the outer ring of the pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise and/or illumination of the discharge warning light.
If the 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. There are no reports of accidents or injuries related to this condition.
Toyota and Lexus models with 4 cylinder engines are not involved.
Toyota is currently working on obtaining the necessary replacement parts. Once the replacement parts have been produced in sufficient quantities, Toyota will send an owner notification by first class mail advising owners to make an appointment with an authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the crankshaft pulley inspected and if necessary, replaced at no charge.
Owner notifications will be mailed by first class mail beginning in January, 2012.
In the meantime, if an abnormal noise is heard coming from the engine compartment, the owner is asked to make an appointment with any Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the vehicle inspected for this condition.
For additional information, contact www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center (1 800-331-4331) or www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987).