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NHTSA Launches Toyota Corolla Probe

Feb 18, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

Reports of power steering problems in late model Toyota Corollas have prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open an investigation.  

The Corolla is Toyota’s best-selling car, with around 1.3 million models sold around the world last year. It was the fifth-best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2009 and the world’s top-seller.

According to The Washington Post, the NHTSA has received more than 150 complaints about the power steering on the Corolla in which drivers have reported feeling as though they were losing control over the steering. The NHTSA investigation will cover about 500,000 Corollas, model years 2009-2010.

Yesterday, we reported that Toyota was considering a recall of the Corolla over the steering complaints. At a news conference, Shinichi Sasaki, who oversees quality at Toyota Motor Corp., said that a recall would be issued if Toyota determined that the problem was putting drivers at risk. 

The Corolla is just the latest Toyota vehicle to cause safety concerns. The automaker has already recalled nearly 8 million vehicles worldwide since September 2009 for issues involving unintended acceleration and faulty brakes. The recalls have seriously injured Toyota’s long-standing reputation for quality and reliability.

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