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Toyota recalling nearly 1 million cars worldwide

/ Source: The Associated Press

Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it is recalling nearly 1 million vehicles across the globe to replace faulty parts that could cause drivers to lose control of the steering wheel.

The recall affects about 986,000 vehicles across 10 models, including its popular Prius hybrid car. More than half of the affected vehicles are in Japan, company officials said.

The intermediate shafts and sliding yokes in the recalled cars lack the necessary strength and could distort or crack under strong pressure, causing drivers to lose control of the steering wheel, the Japanese automaker said in a statement.

In the United States, Toyota is recalling about 170,000 Prius models because the steering shaft assembly could become loose or crack under certain conditions.

Toyota said there have been no reported crashes or injuries connected to the problem in the U.S. Owners are expected to be notified of the recall in mid-June.

In Japan, the recall involves a total of 565,756 vehicles manufactured under the Wish, Isis, Prius, Corolla, Corolla Runx, Corolla Fielder, Corolla Spacio, Allex and Ractis brands between September 2002 and November 2005, according to the statement.

The number in Japan included more than 300,000 Wish cars and more than 113,000 Prius cars.

Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong said the recall involves about 240,000 vehicles in Europe, including the Prius, Corolla and Avensis. An additional 10,000 vehicles were being recalled in other parts of the world, including China and New Zealand, he said.

The recall follows more than 30 complaints filed with Toyota since March 2004, the carmaker said. The company wasn’t aware of any accidents attributed to the faulty parts, it said.