James R. Healey, USA TODAY
In a highly unusual move, Toyota is re-recalling 780,584 RAV4 and Lexus HS250h vehicles to fix a problem that wasn't fixed right the first time.
Involved: 2006 through 2011 RAV4 and 2010 Lexus HS250h passenger vehicles manufactured from October 2005 through September 2010.
The vehicles initially were recalled in August 2012 because rear suspension components could fail causing the vehicles to go out of control.
The parts repaired, which allowed adjusting the rear suspension's alignment, are unique to those vehicles, Toyota says. Making the fix "required a very specific sequence of steps to ensure the proper torque was applied, and what we found was that some dealer technicians either misunderstood or incorrectly performed this tightening procedure," Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight said.
Once the process is handled correctly, the components involved will be coated with epoxy to prevent any further, potentially incorrect, adjusting and to minimize the chance that corrosion will attack the components and cause them to loosen, re-triggering the problem. At the same time, Toyota says, "Labels will
also be applied stating the arms are no longer adjustable....The dealers will discard warning labels, clips, and owner's manual supplement" that were part of the initial recall.
From the official documents that Toyota sent to dealers, service managers and parts managers:
"Toyota received reports from dealers indicating that some vehicles experienced symptoms of the recalled condition after being inspected or repaired. Upon investigation, it was discovered that some inspections were not adequate and portions of the repair procedure may not have been performed correctly.
"Based upon this information, Toyota will be re-notifying all owners covered by (the original, 2012 recall). The notification will apologize to customers and inform them that their vehicles may not have been inspected or repaired correctly.
"The letter will request the customer to return to the dealership for a revised inspection and remedy procedure. The revised inspection and remedy will be performed at no charge."