Toyota Prius Under NHTSA Investigation: 561K Affected

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating Toyota Prius cars ranging from model years 2004 to 2009 because of a possible defect with the steering column.

NHTSA documents indicate that there are an estimated 561,000 vehicles potentially affected. The same documents say repair records of a California man’s 2005 Toyota Prius demonstrate wear and corrosion of the splines in the base of the steering column.

There was a petition filed with NHTSA in 2011 because of the issue, which indicates partial engagement to the upper intermediate shaft coupler.

The petition also says that there was no known service that took place on the vehicle that could account for the condition. NHTSA opened an investigation on February 21, but that process will need to escalate to an engineering analysis before it can become a recall.

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