DETROIT – Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it's recalling 778,000 RAV4 SUVs and Lexus HS 250h sedans in the U.S. to fix a suspension problem that could cause crashes.
The company says if rear suspension nuts aren't tightened properly after a wheel alignment, the arms can rust and separate from the vehicle.
Toyota reported nine crashes and three minor injuries from the problem.
RAV4s from the 2006 to 2011 model years are covered by the recall. The Lexus sedans are from 2010 only.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the problem in June after getting several reports from drivers, including one who reported swerving over four lanes of an interstate when the suspension arm disconnected. Four drivers told NHTSA they temporarily lost control of their vehicles because of the issue.
Toyota says it's developing a plan to fix the problem and will notify owners by mail when it's time to take them to dealers for a free repair.
In the meantime, the company says drivers should contact their dealers if they hear an abnormal sound in the rear of the vehicle.
This is the latest issue for the popular RAV4, which is currently involved in a government investigation of door fires that have been linked to power window switches.
Last year, RAV4s from the 2007 and 2008 model years were recalled because their air bags could go off without warning. And two years ago, RAV4s from the 2009 and 2010 model years were among the millions of vehicles Toyota recalled for sticky gas pedals.