Toyota Motor Corp. will recall 8,000 Tacoma pickups due to possible cracks in a common drive shaft component that Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. said posed no safety risk to their vehicles.
Toyota's decision to call back the 2010 model year trucks in the United States, which it announced on Friday, was the latest in a series of recalls that have hurt the automaker's sales and its reputation for quality.
The recall followed supplier Dana Holding Corp.'s report to U.S. safety regulators that 34,000 drive shaft parts it supplied to Toyota, Ford and Nissan could have cracks.
Dana said it was investigating the cause of the problem, and remedies would be specific to each vehicle on which the parts are used. It believed less than 2 percent of the parts shipped to the automakers had cracks.
Toyota dealers will get instructions on how to perform a 10-minute inspection to locate identification numbers, the automaker said in a statement. In some cases, the part may need to be replaced. Owners will begin receiving notices in mid-March.
Dana spokesman Chuck Hartlage said the issue was detected quickly. The supplier believes only a small percentage of affected vehicles have been sold.
Ford: No issues
About 17,000 of the parts were supplied to Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs, and a review found no potential impact on the vehicles, Ford spokesman Said Deep said.
"Our rigorous testing and review concluded there are no safety or performance issues," Deep said.
The parts were supplied for a small number of model year 2010 four-wheel drive Nissan and Infiniti brand trucks and SUVs, Nissan said.
The vehicles "will not experience a loss of control or present a safety risk even in the unlikely event the part should fail," Nissan spokesman Colin Price said in a statement.
Toyota said in a document obtained by Reuters that the all-wheel drive version of the 2010 Tacoma trucks may have a component containing cracks in the joint portion of the drive shaft due to an "improper manufacturing process control."
The cracks eventually could cause the drive shaft to separate and strike the road surface, potentially causing drivers to lose control of the vehicle, the document showed.
Toyota said in the document the pickups were built from mid-December to early February. It told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of its planned recall on Thursday and was not aware of any accidents caused by the defect.
Dana said it has told the agency about a crack in some ''yolks'' that transfer torque between the drive shaft tube and universal joint.
Toyota's latest move follows a string of recalls in recent months that cover more than 8.5 million vehicles globally due to the risk that a loose floor mat or a sticky accelerator pedal may lead to unintended acceleration, and to resolve a problem with regenerative braking on its Prius hybrid car.
The 2005-10 model year Tacomas were also involved in a safety recall last September for the risk of unintended acceleration, which Toyota said was linked to floor mats that can become lodged under the acceleration pedal.
Toyota sold about 112,000 Tacomas in the United States last year, down from nearly 145,000 in 2008.
Reuters and Robert Sherefkin contributed to this report.