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533,000 Toyota Trucks Recalled for Failed Ball Joints

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Toyota Motor Company is recalling 533,000 trucks and SUVs because of possible steering and suspension problems that are caused by faulty ball joints.

The recall marks a sudden shift in policy for the Japanese carmaker after they repeatedly denied consumer complaints about ball joint problems and failures in the Tundra and Sequoia.

The recall includes 2004 to 2007 model year Sequoia full size sport utility vehicles and 2004 to 2006 Tundra pickups sold in the United States.

A ball joint located in the front suspension may wear out and cause the vehicle to be difficult if not impossible to steer sometimes.

The defect may be the cause of 11 accidents resulting in six injuries, reports Toyota.

In 2006, Toyota reduced the number of their recalls substantially but recalls also declined throughout the auto industry in 2006. An estimated 10.8 million vehicles were recalled last year, industry-wide; compared to 17.9 million recalled cars and trucks in 2005.

The ball joint recall follows a Toyota settlement in a class action lawsuit filed over sludge that was building in the engines of millions of vehicles, requiring the engine to be repaired or replaces. There are believed to be as many as 3 to 4 million vehicles involved.