Toyota Recalling 106,000 Prius Cars on Steering Glitch

Toyota (NYSE:TM) will recall 105,784 early model Prius cars primarily in the U.S. and Japan to replace attachment nuts related to electric power steering.

The recalls impact first generation Prius cars, or those made from 2001 to 2003, including 47,784 in Japan and 52,000 in the U.S. The rest were sold in the U.K. and Germany.

The automaker said that if the steering wheel is repeatedly and strongly turned to the full-lock position, there is a possibility the nuts securing the pinion shaft in the steering gear box may become loose.

This may gradually lead to stiffness when trying to make left turns, causing the customer to exert “significantly increased steering effort.”

The company, which has been increasing Prius production in an effort to appeal to the cost-conscious customer amid skyrocketing oil costs, said it will start notifying affected customers in early July.

Toyota has said it would like to sell at least one million hybrid vehicles annually around the world by 2015. Last month, Toyota launched the Prius Alpha, which comes in both a two row, five seat version and a three row, seven seat model.