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Recall Woes: Toyota Steering Issue

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On: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:34AM | By: John Welch

Recall Woes: Toyota Steering Issue

The new Toyota Avalon is sort of cool. Considering its front-drive, luxo-barge nature, I'm surprised to hear myself say such a thing. Or 'type' of thing as the case may be. The Avalon is equipped with a stout V6, LED lighting, and the most engaging "MadMen60'sPopCulturePanAmStewardessDrivingIsAsEasyAsFlying" ad campaign. I'm becoming afraid that I may like the Avalon solely because of the 60s air-travel themed marketing. Seriously, these commercials are very well done.

Too bad the older Avalon models have quality concerns, specifically a steering issue involving much more then crappy electronic power steering programming. Toyota will add 373,000 Avalon sedans, model years 2000 through 2004 to its growing list of recalled vehicles. According to a statement released by Toyota, the steering lock bar in these vehicles could break under certain conditions. How hard are blue-hairs driving these cars exactly? Of all the things that fall apart on cars; I don't think I have ever heard of a steering lock bar malfunctioning. Which is to say, NO ONE has reported any sort of injury because of this issue. After how poorly we Americans handled the issue of unintended acceleration (to be clear: 80% of those cases boiled down to some yokel mashing the gas pedal instead of the brake. Toyota can't make you pay attention while driving, Dummies, and shouldn't be blamed for injuries or deaths it did NOT cause . . .) Toyota is learning from its mistakes and nipping this issue in the bud . . .  instead of covering it up for six years (lookin' at you, Inaba!)

You didn't think I would crack on the American public without jabbing Toyota a little bit, did you? As of 10:28 a.m. EST there is no offcial NHTSA release regarding this issue; The 'Shopper will post it and recalls involving Volvo, Subaru, BMW, and Nissan when the actual Avalon report is released . . .


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