After a high-profile recall of the popular Ford Escape, rival auto manufacturer Toyota has announced that it will recall 778,000 RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h models sold in the United States. These vehicles allegedly carry a risk of suspension failure if they undergo rear alignment service and the nuts on the suspension arm are not tightened properly. According to the Wall Street Journal, the recalled RAV4s cover the model years 2006 through 2011 (about 760,000 vehicles), while the HS250h recall only covers the 2010 model (about 18,000 vehicles). Toyota has said that there have been nine reported crashes and three injuries related to the suspension problems thus far in the United States.
Allegedly, if the nuts on the rear suspension arm are not properly tightened, rust could form and eventually cause the arm to fail. This recall was announced after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into the suspension defects, of which they had received seven complaints. The NHTSA said that the vehicles “may fail due to corrosion, potentially causing a loss of vehicle control.” The Toyota Rav4 is also currently the subject of a government investigation of door fires that may be started by the power window switches.
Toyota says that it will notify vehicle owners when the recall is ready, but that drivers should contact their dealers if they hear any abnormal sounds coming from the rear of their vehicle. Toyota reportedly received a report in May of a driver who crashed after “the left arm separated at the outer side of the turn-buckle.” The company then mounted an investigation, which culminated in the recall.