Toronto, Ontario – Toyota Canada has announced two new recalls, which will affect certain Toyota Avalon and Lexus LX470 vehicles.

The Avalon campaign involves approximately 4,200 vehicles, model year 2000 to 2004, to address the possibility that the steering lock bar could break under certain conditions. No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are affected by the condition.

The lock bar, a component of the steering interlock system, may develop a minute crack on the surface due to improper casting. The crack may expand over a long period of repeated lock and unlock operations, and eventually the bar could break. If this occurs, the interlock system may be difficult to unlock when stationary. If the vehicle is steered to the right with sufficient lateral acceleration while driving, a broken and loose lock bar could move toward the steering shaft. If the engagement hole in the shaft happens to line up at the specific time the broken lock bar has moved, it could engage the lock bar, locking the steering wheel in place.

Under the recall, Toyota will replace the steering column bracket on involved vehicles, which takes about two hours. Owners will be notified by first-class mail beginning in late August 2010.

The Lexus campaign affects approximately 520  LX470 vehicles, model year 2003 to 2007, to address a steering shaft condition. No other Lexus vehicles are involved in the campaign.

The construction of the steering shaft on involved vehicles is such that the snap ring on the shaft may disengage when the vehicle experiences an unusually severe impact to the front wheels, such as striking a deep pothole. If the ring is disengaged and the steering wheel is then repeatedly turned to the full locked position, the steering shaft may disengage over time.

The company will replace the ring with a newly-designed ring and install an additional component to prevent separation of the steering shaft. Owners will be notified by first-class mail beginning in mid-August 2010.

The company said that it is not aware of any crashes related to either condition.

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