WASHINGTON --Toyota Motor North America Inc. is recalling about 775,000 light trucks to replace front-suspension lower ball joints.
Affected vehicles are 2001-04 Tacoma small pickups, 2002-04 Tundra full-sized pickups and Sequoia SUVs, and 2001-02 4Runner SUVs, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.
Toyota told NHTSA the ball joints may wear prematurely and loosen, causing steering problems. Ultimately, the joint could separate, and the driver would lose steering control.
In early 2004, NHTSA opened an investigation of 2002 Tundra pickups after it received several complaints of ball joint failures. Toyota initially contended there was no safety defect. It later determined that ball joint surfaces may have been scratched during assembly.
Documents filed with NHTSA identify the ball joint supplier as Somic Ishikawa Inc. of Japan.
Toyota expects to begin notifying owners in July.
In a separate recall, Toyota said dealers will inspect nearly 5,000 Avalon sedans built for the 2005 model year to determine whether the steering yoke was welded properly to the steering shaft. If not, the steering column assembly will be replaced.
If the yoke separates from the shaft, the driver would be unable to steer, NHTSA says.
Elsewhere, General Motors is recalling about 290,000 SUVs built for the 2003-04 model years because turn signals malfunction.
Affected vehicles are the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Oldsmobile Bravada and Isuzu Ascender, plus the 2004 Buick Rainier.
Dealers are to replace a flasher module that causes turn signals to flash on both sides rather than in the direction the driver chooses, NHTSA says.
The rest of the list
Here are other recalls reported by NHTSA:
2006 MERCEDES-BENZ CLS CLASS; 2003-05 E CLASS, SL CLASSProblem: Wiring and pump problems cause brake control system to switch to backup mode. That requires increased brake pedal pressure to stop.Fix: Install a bracket to secure wiring; replace a ground wire; in some vehicles, replace hydraulic pump.Number of affected vehicles: 204,000.
2006 MERCEDES-BENZ M CLASSProblem: Fluid leaks where power steering hose enters fluid cooler.Fix: Replace hose clamp.Number: 7,200.
2003 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN, CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRYProblem: Rear hatch latch doesn't hold; liftgate opens while vehicle is in motion.Fix: Replace power liftgate control module.Number: 70,000.
1999-2000 VW GOLF, GOLF GTI; ALL WITH GASOLINE ENGINESProblem: Tension on fuel line causes fuel-pump supply nipple to crack.Fix: Replace fuel line, fuel pump.Number: 35,000.
2005 KIA SPORTAGEProblem: Fuel leaks into vapor chamber in fuel tank. That causes fuel leaks, engine stalling and difficulty in refueling.Fix: Replace fuel tank and charcoal canister.Number: 10,000.
2001 KIA RIOProblem: Wheels crack, causing noise, vibration, possible crashes.Fix: Replace wheels.Number: 24,000.
2005 HONDA ACCORD, ODYSSEY; ACURA TLProblem: Loose fuse box terminal causes fuel pump to shut off.Fix: Replace fuse box.Number: 1,900.