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Toyota's Prius Recall Affects 670K Hybrids in U.S.

Two Toyota Prius recalls have been announced: one that affects about 670,000 cars in the U.S., and another that affects about 2 million Prius and Carolla models worldwide.

The issue is the same in both recalls. Toyota says the steering intermediate extension shafts in all the recalled vehicles will need to be inspected, and that in about half the cars the electric water pumps will also have to be replaced, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The recall affects 2004 through 2009 model-year Prius hybrids in the United States, reports the Times.

There have been no reported crashes or injuries due to the problems. However, the steering shaft problem reportedly can lead to deformations in the steering system, while the water pump problem can cause the car's hybrid system to shut off.

Toyota will notify the owners of affected vehicles by mail starting next month. Authorized Toyota dealers will reportedly perform the repairs for free.

Still, this is the second large recall to affect Toyota vehicles in the past few weeks. Earlier, 2.5 million vehicles were recalled in the U.S. due to a faulty power-window switch. In that recall, several injuries were linked to the problem.

In addition, Toyota famously recalled the Prius in 2010 for sudden-acceleration problems and other safety defects. Given that the Prius is one of the most popular cars sold in the U.S., you would not expect so many problems with the car.

While the recent recalls seem relatively minor, owners will still be inconvenienced by having to take their cars to a dealership for repairs.

If you have purchased a Toyota Prius or other vehicle that has given you problems, you may want to talk to a consumer products attorney. Some cars may be lemons and violate warranty agreements. A lawyer can help you review your options to potentially collect damages and even possibly a refund.

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