MIAMI (CBS4) – Thousands of Toyotas sold in South Florida are part of a nationwide voluntary recall by the automaker over a problem which could impact the vehicle’s steering.

On Wednesday, Toyota announced it was recalling 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles in the U.S. to replace the crankshaft pulley on the V6 engine.

According to the automaker there is a possibility that the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring. If this happens the driver may notice a noise or see the discharge warning light come on. If the problem isn’t fiexed, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley and the driver may notice a sudden increase in steering effort.

The vehicles involved are:
2004 Avalon
2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara
2006 Highlander HV
2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330
And 2006 RX400h

These Toyota models with 4 cylinder engines are not part impacted by the recall.

Toyota is currently working on obtaining the necessary replacement parts. Once the replacement parts have been produced in sufficient quantities, Toyota will send owners notification by mail advising them make an appointment with an authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the crankshaft pulley inspected and if necessary, replaced at no charge.

The owner notifications are expected to go out in January, 2012.

In the meantime, if an abnormal noise is heard coming from the engine compartment, the owner is asked to make an appointment with any Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the vehicle inspected for this condition.


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