Toyota is voluntarily recalling approximately 8,000 four-wheel drive Tacoma pickups to fix a potential problem with the front propeller shaft, a Toyota spokesman said today. The issue: a crack can develop in one of the joints that may lead to the driveshaft separating and falling away from the truck, causing the vehicle to lose control. The problem can occur without warning, according to a Toyota recall bulletin sent to Toyota dealers today.
The front prop shaft sends power to the truck's front wheels when it's in four-wheel drive. Two-wheel drive pickups are not included in the recall, according to Toyota.
The condition was discovered during the manufacturing process of the front prop shaft at the supplier, Dana Corporation, that you may recall was also involved in the frame rust recall issue with first generation Toyota Tundras.
Prop shaft inspection area from 2010 Toyota Tacoma recall notice sent to Toyota dealers.
The affected Toyota Tacoma models were produced from mid-December 2009, to early February 2010.
"Most of the vehicles [included in the recall] are in the pipeline in Toyota's distribution system or on dealer lots," Brian Lyons, Toyota's head of safety communications told PickupTrucks.com on Friday afternoon.
Toyota dealers will perform a 10-minute visual inspection of the trucks included in the recall, according to the dealer notice. Based on the results, the prop shaft may be replaced at no charge to the customer. Toyota will notify owners by mail starting by mid-March.
Owners may also contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center (1-800-331-4331) for additional assistance.
Update #1 February-12-2009 03:35 PDT:
Added picture of the prop shaft indicating the joint that will be inspected by Toyota dealers.
Update #2 February-12-2009 11:05 PDT:
According to the Detroit News
- Lyons said the cracks in the prop shaft are invisible to the eye.
- Dana Corp. disclosed the defect to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday
- The same part is used in a limited number of Ford and Nissan vehicles, including Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs.
[H/T to Seung Min Yu]