Toyota is currently recalling around 2.3 million vehicles for possible unintended acceleration, and, according to an Automotive News report, an investigation regarding “unintended veering” of 2009-10 Toyota Corollas may soon begin. Since April 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 83 complaints about the power steering units on 2009 and 2010 Corollas.
According to an Automotive News report, 76 of those complaints identify a problem with keeping the Corolla traveling in a straight line at speeds above 40 mph. The complaints typically report a drifting or veering that begins at 40 mph that can be difficult to correct -- or in some cases will overcorrect, necessitating a strong grip on the wheel to recover and keep the vehicle headed straight.
There are currently 10 injuries reported, caused by six accidents related to the reports. Automotive News cites several complaints including one driver who said complete attention is necessary to keep the vehicle from veering into another lane. Another woman said her Corolla veered off the road, down a cliff and slammed into a tree and fence as she was driving with her grandchildren.
NHTSA spokewoman Karen Aldana told Automotive News in an email, “We are continuing to review and gather information to determine if it warrants a formal investigation.”
Toyota changed the Corolla’s power steering unit from an electric to a hydraulic system starting in the 2009 model year. MY2009 Corollas began arriving in showrooms in February 2008.
Toyota officially announced that it is also initiating a voluntary recall of 437,000 hybrid vehicles for potential braking issues caused by a combination of the ABS calibration and the regenerative braking systems. Two models are affected, the 2010 Toyota Prius and the 2010 Lexus HS250h.
Source: NHTSA, Automotive News (Susbscription required)