Toyota Motor Sales announced the recall on Tuesday, July 2, as a voluntary repair recall to fix the possible fault. The problem is in a relay in the Power Steering Control Module that could short circuit, causing a loss of power steering assist.
The fault, which Toyota says only affects about 74 cars from the 2012 Yaris, is caused by insufficient distances between terminals in the relay that could short circuit and because of moisture contamination of relay coil windings. This combination can cause a loss of power steering assist, making the car hard to drive at lower speeds.
The condition does set off alarms in the instrument cluster which alert the driver. The Electronic Power Steering (EPS) warming light will illuminate if the power steering relay trips in this fault, which also sounds a buzzer in the dashboard to alert that a safety fault has been tripped.
Owners of the 2012 Toyota Yaris vehicles involved in this recall are being notified by first class mail and will be scheduled at a local dealership for replacement of the Power Steering Control Module. The fault is on a few cars which were manufactured with replacement parts because of a factory shortage during production at a single Toyota plant.
The Yaris is one of Toyota's best-selling compact cars globally and is one of the top three selling subcompacts in the U.S. The Yaris platform is also the chassis underlying the popular Toyota Prius c hybrid model.
If you own a 2012 Yaris and are wondering if it is affected by the recall, you can visit toyota.com/recall or call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.