The Basics: Toyota is recalling 337,000 2006-2011 model year Toyota RAV4 crossovers built between October 31, 2005 and September 7, 2010, as well as 2010 model year Lexus HS250h cars built between July 6, 2009 and August 26, 2010. This is the third time these vehicles have been recalled for the same issue.
The Problem: There could be a rust problem that impacts alignment. When either an affected RAV4 or HS250h is given an alignment and the tie rod adjustment nut on the rear control arm isn’t tightened properly, the threads on the tie rod can start to rust. If this happens, the nut may break off and throw off the alignment drastically and suddenly. This isn’t a case of the car simply pulling to one side, either. This would seriously upset the balance of the car and could cause the driver to lose control and crash.
Injuries/Deaths: Based on information from NHTSA documents, it does not appear that any crashes, injuries or deaths have been attributed to the defect addressed in the current recall.
The Fix: The dealer will completely replace the rear suspension assemblies at no cost to the owner. The tie rods and nuts will also be coated in epoxy to prevent future rusting from occurring.
If you own one: Toyota will notify owners of affected cars by mail. Owners can also check whether their cars are affected by entering the VIN at safercar.gov/vin. Owners with questions can also reach Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987.
The Basics: Subaru is preparing to inspect and repair a small batch of 2017 Outback crossovers.
The Issue: A worker at the company’s Indiana factory noticed abnormal brake noise during a routine post-production inspection check late last month. Further investigation determined that the brake caliper bolts had not been installed to the specified torque.
The problems were traced back to an assembly line worker. The company quickly installed a new tool that will automatically torque each bolt to the proper settings, verify the tightness and make a record for each engagement.
“Manual torquing was discontinued upon use of this tool,” Subaru notes in its recall documents. “All vehicles that were manually torqued are included in the potentially affected population.”
The Fix: Service technicians will double check bolts securing the front brake calipers, wheel hubs and stabilizer clamps to verify proper installation.
The Basics: Hyundai is preparing to install new software in 3,000 2015 Genesis models to address a safety concern related to an incorrect speed display.
The Issue: Some sedans are equipped with a seven-inch TFT-LCD instrument cluster that is prone to serious glitches. Symptoms include all warning lights illuminating, inaccurate speedometer/tachometer readings, no cluster illumination or turn-signal activation failures.
“Incorrect (or loss of) readings, messages, and warning lights displayed by the instrument cluster could increase the risk of a crash,” the company warns.
The first field claims were identified in March. An investigation eventually traced the problems to a communication error between the head unit and the instrument cluster.
The Fix: Recalled vehicles will received a software update to restore proper operation.
Notes: The company says it is unaware of any accidents or injuries caused by the malfunctions.
The Basics: Mazda filed a safety defect report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to address a concern with 41,000 Mazda6 vehicles from the 2009-2010 model years.
The Issue: On the affected Mazda6 vehicles, due to insufficient protective coating on the air bag control unit power supply, moisture could enter the unit and cause corrosion. This could cause the unit to malfunction and turn on the air bag warning light. Continued driving in this condition could potentially cause the air bags to not deploy in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
The Fix: Dealers will be notified of the voluntary recall in September, 2016. Owners will be notified by first class mail in early October, 2016.
Notes: There are no reports of accidents or injuries.