NHTSA opens investigation in 2005 Toyota recall

Posted on May 11, 2010
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is undertaking another investigation into Toyota, this time in regards to the timeliness of a recall dating back to 2005.

Under the law, a vehicle recall is required within five business days of the day in which knowledge was ascertained about a defect in the vehicle.

In 2004, Toyota recalled a series of Hilux truck in Japan with a steering relay rod defect that caused the steering rod to become fatigued overtime causing to crack and possibly break, leading to a loss of steering control in the vehicle. Toyota told NHTSA that the defect was unique to models sold only in Japan and that it did not effect American consumers.

However, the next year in 2005, Toyota notified NHTSA of a similar steering relay rod defect in the Hilux models sold in the United States and conducted a recall.

Last week, NHTSA was notified of a number of complaints filed by American consumers in 2004 regarding problems with the steering relay rod, prior even to the 2004 Japanese recall of Hilux model trucks.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood promises to get to the bottom of the problem as quickly as possible. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland says his agency is taking immediate action to investigate and obtain more documents to see if Toyota acted quickly and properly in accordance with the law in recalling defective vehicles in 2005.