April 27 (UPI) — Toyota Motor Corp. announced Thursday it is recalling 228,000 of its Tacoma pickup trucks in the United States for model years 2016 and 2017.
The recalls are linked to the trucks’ rear differential, a gear assembly on the rear axle, which could malfunction and cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Toyota said those gears, which send power to the rear wheels, could leak oil.
“If a vehicle is continuously operated in this condition, the rear differential could become damaged, which can result in noise and reduced propulsion,” Toyota said in a statement. “In some cases the rear differential could seize, resulting in a loss of control of the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash.”
Toyota dealers will check the affected trucks’ rear differential for any leakage, at no cost. If leakage is found, the rear carrier gasket will be replaced and new fasteners will be installed. If rear differential components are damaged, the entire carrier assembly will be replaced.
USA Today reported Thursday that the Japanese automaker has yet to specify whether it’s received any complaints of crashes or injuries linked to the defect.
Toyota said it will begin sending notices in the mail to affected customers in the middle of June, but Tacoma owners can check online to see if their trucks are covered by the recall. Customer support is available by calling Toyota Customer Service at 800-331-4331.
Recall inquiries by individual VIN are also available at the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
Thursday’s is the first recall involving 2017 Tacomas and the second for the 2016 model, which was previously recalled because incorrect bolts were used to install the driver’s knee air bag module, according to the website ToyotaProblems.com.