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Toyota, GM Issue Recalls

Toyota will recall about 550,000 six-cylinder Toyota and Lexus units throughout the world in response to a potential issue with the crankshaft pulley, a problem that could result in the power steering pump coming loose.

Toyota Motor Sales USA issued a statement Wednesday announcing the recall of 420,200 vehicles in the U.S., and told Auto Remarketing that the recall also includes other areas of the world, including: Canada; Japan; Europe; the Middle East; Africa; Central and South America; elsewhere in Asia; and Oceania.

These numbers are broken down as follows:

Canada: 27,000
Japan: 38,000
Europe: 14,000
Middle East: 10,000
Africa, Central and South America: 500
Other Asian regions: 14,000
Oceania: 25,000

The recall in the U.S. involves the following V6 vehicles:

2004 Toyota Avalon
2004 and 2005 Toyota Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara
2006 Toyota Highlander HV
2004 and 2005 Lexus ES330 and RX330
2006 Lexus RX400h

The international recall involves units outside those mentioned for the U.S., including Toyota's Estima, Alphard, Kluger/Kluger Hybrid and Windom.

No accidents or injuries have been reported.

More on U.S. Recall

Continuing along, the Toyota models in the recall here comprise of about 283,200 of the affected units, while approximately 137,000 are Lexus units.

"There is a possibility that the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise and/or illumination of the discharge warning light," the Torrance, Calif.-based company indicated.

"If this condition is not corrected, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley, and the driver may notice a sudden increase in steering effort," the statement added.

The company is currently trying to secure the necessary parts to replace the pulley. After enough replacement parts have been produced, it will notify owners via first-class mail to visit their local Toyota or Lexus store for an inspection and, if necessary, a replacement.

This will be done for free.

The company said it will start sending these notices out in January.

"In the meantime, if an abnormal noise is heard coming from the engine compartment, the owner is asked to make an appointment with any Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the vehicle inspected for this condition," it stressed.

GM Recalls More Than 41,000 Pontiacs

In other recall-related news, General Motors is recalling 38,444 Pontiac G8 models in the U.S. and 2,862 in Canada for an airbag issue.

The vehicles are from the 2008 and 2009 model years.

GM is reprogramming the front passenger air bag module due to the fact that "it may be out of compliance with the federal standard for head injury protection in some passengers," the automaker said in a statement, adding that the vehicle was built in Australia and transported here.

"The issue was discovered during testing in Australia for the 2012 Chevrolet Police Patrol Vehicle, and further investigation led GM to decide to recall the G8 models," the company said. "There are no known complaints, crashes or injuries related to the issue."

Explaining the condition in more detail, the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation had this to say: "A fifth percentile female anthropomorphic test device in a 30 mph frontal barrier test exceeded the head injury criteria requirements of the standard.

"With the front passenger seat positioned full forward, the seat position sensor will cause a 30 millisecond deployment delay between the first and second stages of the dual-stage frontal passenger air bag," ODI added.

Should the vehicle crash, increased head injury can occur for certain front-seat passengers because of the delay, ODI explained further.