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Toyota Highlander steering column callback may be required
Feds upgrade for Toyota Highlander steering column inspection after the steering wheels have fallen off.


A recall of the Toyota Highlander steering column may be imminent as a federal investigation into complaints about steering wheel dropping while driving improves.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened the original investigation in May To determine if recall is required for steering column separations in more than 700,000 Toyota Highlander and Highlander hybrid SUVs from 2008-2013.

The drivers complained about steering wheels that had come loose when the telescopic / tilt mechanisms were used. By May 2018, however, only three complaints had been filed. NHTSA reports that it knows about 30 incidents involving the Highlander steering columns.

Fourteen complaints allege that the steering columns are completely separate, with six occurring during driving, resulting in an accident. Another 16 events were reported, with the steering columns falling off the dashboard mounting brackets. However, none of the reports indicate that the steering wheels are falling.

According to NHTSA, five of the SUVs were apparently repaired after collisions that occurred months or years before the steering columns were disconnected.

Safety researchers have discovered that the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid Steering Columns are equipped with tear-off capsules that are said to be used for safety reasons. According to Toyota, the capsules are said to collapse and break off in certain head-on collisions, a feature reportedly designed to reduce driver injury.

However, NHTSA found that it is not possible for a driver to know when the capsules collapse. The steering column may disengage or disengage from the steering assembly when a driver actuates the tilting mechanism after the tear-off capsule collapses.

Toyota is aware of the steering column problems because the automaker has recently issued a bulletin specifically for collision repairs and the automaker has also revised the repair manuals for Highlander.

According to NHTSA, the study has been improved to investigate the conditions under which the capsules collapse and shear. In addition, safety regulators want to learn details about detecting and repairing the capsules.

CarComplaints.com will update our website if NHTSA determines that a recall of the Toyota Highlander steering column is in order.

Read what drivers say about their Highlander SUVs:

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SOURCES: CARSCOOPS BMWBLOG MOTORAUTHORITY
CLASSICCARS MOTOR1 JALOPNIK FOURTITUDE INSIDEEVS
DUPONTREGISTRY AUTONEWS OLDCARSWEEKLY
INDIANAUTOSBLOG CARCOMPLAINTS LUXUO AUTOPARTSWAREHOUSE
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