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Toyota Truck Recall: Tacoma, 4Runner, Tundra, and Sequoia
by Anna Henningsgaard

A wide scale recall is the last resort for a car company to take with a problematic vehicle, and most automotive problems do not even make it to recall stage. Toyota has been known to avoid issuing recalls at all cost, preferring to issue safety warnings and avoid covering repair costs on vehicles that are beyond warranty. This should put this year’s massive Toyota truck recall into perspective.

This May, Toyota Motor Corp issued one of its largest safety recalls in history. Toyota is recalling more than 750,000 pickup trucks and SUV’s because of problems with the front suspension that could make the vehicles difficult to steer. The recall covers 775,000 vehicles in the United States alone, including 2001-2004 model years of the Toyota Tacoma, the 2001-2002 models of Toyota 4Runner and the 2002-2004 model Tundra and Sequoia.

During the manufacturing of these vehicles, the surface of the front suspension ball joint was scratched. Wear and tear on this ball joint creates friction that makes the vehicles difficult to control. At speeds as low as 20 mph, Toyota drivers have reported ball joints collapsing, causing the front wheels to fold under the truck.

Overall, Toyota admits to conducting five recalls this year in the United States affecting nearly 1 million vehicles. In 2004, Toyota conducted nine recalls affecting 1,060,000 vehicles, according to the NHTSA. This year, Toyota has also recalled:

- 92,577 Celica coupes from 2000-2001 models to adjust daytime running lights that blind oncoming drivers

- 23,000 model year 2005 Tacoma pickups to tighten a lock nut on the parking brake pedal

This ball-joint recall was the second time in the same week that Toyota issued a high-profile safety warning. Just days before the recall was issued, Toyota began looking into 13 complaints about a possible software glitch that could cause the Prius hybrid car to stall at highway speeds.
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