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Yet Another Toyota Recall: This Time, Tacoma Trucks

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Detroit, MNToyota's recall woes continue to build after last night's voluntary recall of 8000 four-wheel-drive Tacoma trucks in North America over fears of potential production defects in the front drive shaft of certain 2010 models.

CNN reported early this morning that the front shaft in a small production run of the pickups could potentially include a component that developed cracks during the manufacturing process. This issue could prove serious, as any cracks could lead to "the separation of the drive shaft at the joint portion," Toyota explained.

Toyota announced that owners of the recalled vehicles can receive a safety inspection and, if needed, a replacement part at no cost.

The news comes at an unfortunate time for the automaker, which has already recalled millions of vehicles for problems ranging from sticking accelerator pedals to flaws in the complex anti-lock and regenerative brakes in its coveted Prius brand.

Automotive analysts have noted over the last several days that, given the increasing complexity of modern vehicles, recalls cannot be avoided and should not be feared.

Government hearings set to begin in a few weeks will address those concerns and attempt to find some answers for wary and fearful consumers.

Two rounds of federal hearings are scheduled—the first later this month, with another round in March. So far the president of Toyota in North America has been called to testify. However, officials in Japan have stated that Akio Toyoda, the head of Toyota Motor Corporation and the grandson of Toyota's founder, will make himself available to the US Congressional hearings, if required.

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