On Wednesday, Toyota announced a recall on their 2006-11 RAV4 crossover and 2010 Lexus HS 250h hybrid sold in the United States.
Poor servicing is the culprit, Toyota says. The issue centers around a rear suspension arm that may, over time, fall off. If nuts on the arm are not properly tightened during a rear wheel alignment, rust could form and cause excessive wear that separates the arm from the car.
Toyota and Lexus dealerships will perform the inspection and remedy, if necessary, free of charge. Toyota is currently developing a remedy and will alert owners of the models in question once it is available. The recall encompasses about 760,000 RAV4 models and 18,000 HS 250h models.
Toyota noted that the recall is a voluntary safety precaution, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating the suspension problem in the RAV4 since June. The NHTSA inquiry concerned the 2006-08 RAV4 models but Toyota apparently cast a wider net to include newer RAV4 models as well as the HS 250h.
Otherwise, things are looking rather rosy for Toyota. Yesterday’s July sales report (article here) brought good news and a 26-percent sales increase over July 2011. The improvement signals a return to form for the global auto giant after the Tohoku earthquake halted production last year, and Toyota could not fill dealerships with new models.
Last month, the RAV4 was one of the best-selling models across the entire Toyota and Lexus brand. More than 15,000 U.S. customers purchased a new RAV4 in July. The HS 250h ended its production run – an early exit after disappointing sales – just a few months ago.