Toyota Motor Corp. will recall 50 Venza and Sienna vehicles manufactured in the United States in March after being told by a supplier that they had been equipped with faulty drive shafts.
In a recall notice filed with U.S. safety regulators and published on Monday, Toyota said the defective vehicles were at risk of suddenly losing power if the drive shaft were to break on the road, increasing the risk of an accident.
The Japanese automaker said its supplier GKN Plc had notified it on March 11 that it had supplied drive shafts from a plant in North Carolina that were defective because they had not been sufficiently heat treated.
Toyota said it decided in late May to recall the handful of Venza crossover wagons and Sienna minivans that had already been shipped to dealers with the defective parts.
The recall covers 34 Venza wagons and 16 Sienna minivans for the 2011 model year. The vehicles affected by the recall were manufactured at Toyota plants in Indiana and Kentucky between March 7 and March 10.
Toyota said it would begin notifying owners of the recall in mid-June and replace the defective drive shafts at no cost.
The top Japanese automaker has pledged to move faster to remedy quality problems after a costly wave of recalls in 2010 that battered its image and left it facing legal claims for damages in the United States.
An outside panel appointed by Toyota said last month that the automaker had made progress but needed to do more to fix a crisis in decision making and other shortcomings in corporate culture that had led to the recall of millions of vehicles over complaints of unintended acceleration.
(Editing by Chris Gallagher)
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