Toyota’s recall drama continues with potential problems with both the popular North American Camry and Corolla models. Toyota reported this week that early 2010 model year Camrys with 4-cylinder engines (2.4L model in North America) could have a power steering pressure hose of an inappropriate length. If this condition exists, a crimp on the power steering pressure hose may come in contact with the No. 7 front brake tube.
This could eventually wear a hole in the brake tube. You can probably guess what happens next – all the brake fluid leaks out and this will lead to the brakes being unassisted. You will probably still be able to brake if you slam it hard enough but since it is unassisted, stopping distances will increase significantly. Toyota reports a total of 7,300 units of 4-cylinder Toyota Camrys are affected. The recall inspection and fix will involve a Toyota dealer inspecting and if necessary adjusting the space between the brake tube and the power steering pressure hose crimp. Based upon the inspection results, the dealership may need to replace the brake tube, at no cost to the customer.
The next issue is with the Toyota Corolla and it sounds like quite a bad experience for drivers with affected Corollas. The NHTSA has receiver over 80 complaints about the 2009-2010 model year Toyota Corolla, citing steering issues. Affected cars are apparently hard to keep inside a lane without wandering around unexpectedly. Some users have described the effect to be similiar to aquaplaning, where your steering just veers left or right by itself. Others have compared it to driving on black ice. The driver has to really use their arms to keep the vehicle straight, and this can get tiring.
The NHTSA will be investigating these complaints and if necessary we might just end up seeing yet another Toyota recall announcement. Toyota spokesperson Ed Lewis says “we have not received any official communication regarding an evaluation of Corolla. We will cooperate, of course, with any inquiry the agency has.”
I don’t really expect Malaysian Toyotas to exhibit any of these issues as we have different suppliers and our cars are right hand drive (American cars are left hand drive), which means the steering rack, hoses, and etc would probably be installed quite differently in the engine bay.