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Toyota recalls 51,000 Tundra pickups for driveshaft failure risks

Toyota Motor Co. today announced a voluntary recall of 2011 Toyota Tundra pickups over a concern of the driveshaft breaking after a single private owner experienced this problem.

This new 2011 Toyota Tundra recall affects roughly 51,000 vehicles and it relates specifically to the driveshaft slip yoke, which connects the driveshaft to the inner workings of the truck’s transmission. According to the Japanese automaker, who has seen their once-spotless reputation crumble to nothing over the past two years, a small group of the 2011 Tundra pickups were built with slip yokes that were improperly cast during the manufacturing process. Because of these casting flaws, the yokes are prone to cracking and breaking. Once the slip yoke completely fails, the power cannot make it to the drive wheels. In addition to the vehicle becoming powerless, when a slip yoke pulls out of the back of the transmission fluid can flow out the back of the housing which can complicate the whole ordeal. In the worst case scenario, when the front of a driveshaft breaks while the vehicle is traveling at speed, the shaft contacting the road surface can create a “pole vault” type effect.

Toyota believes that just 0.05% of the recalled 2011 Tundras could actually be fitted with the faulty component - that’s one half of one tenth of a percent – so of those 51,000 2011 Tundra pickups being recalled the automaker only expects around 25 units to be subject to the problem. In the one real-world occurrence of this driveshaft failure, there was no accident or injuries stemming from the mechanical failure but with so many problems possibly caused by a failing driveshaft, Toyota has called these new pickups back to the dealerships.

When the owners of those 51,000 2011 Toyota Tundra pickups return to the dealership, the inspection will only take about 10 minutes. However, if the slip yoke is found to be faulty and the driveshaft has to be removed and replaced, it could take more time depending on how long it takes to free up a certified technician and these days – the Toyota mechanics working on recall issues are keeping pretty busy. The good news is that removing and replacing a driveshaft is a pretty straightforward repair so provided that you can get your truck into a service bay in a hurry, the actual repair shouldn’t take very long.

Owners will be notified via first class mail starting in May and both the inspection and the actual service (if needed) will be performed free of charge. Toyota states that no other vehicles are affected by this recall or the issue causing the recall.

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