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Toyota New Zealand advises that just under 1,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles are affected by a precautionary engine component recall.
Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services, Spencer Morris, says the affected part is the crankshaft pulley used on the 3 litre V6 1MZ-FE engine and 3.3 litre V6 3MZ-FE engine used in some 2004/2005 Toyota Camry, Highlander, Harrier, and Estima models. This engine was also used in the Lexus RX range during the same years.
The pulley drives the belt which operates the power steering, alternator and air conditioner. In rare cases, the inner and outer pulley parts may start to separate. If left unchecked, the pulley may eventually stop driving the belt, leading to an increase in steering effort.
Drivers may first notice an unusual noise, or the illumination of the red battery charge warning light.
Spencer Morris says the issue affects 990 vehicles imported by Toyota New Zealand.
"There have been 79 failures reported globally from the half million vehicles exported from Japan with these pulleys. None of the failures have resulted in steering issues which caused a collision."
Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by Toyota and asked to contact an authorised Toyota or Lexus dealer, who will repair the vehicle for free. The repair should take less than two hours.
"With the assistance of the New Zealand Transport Agency, we will also contact all known owners of vehicles imported independently, and replace the affected part free of charge," says Spencer Morris.