Toyota has just announced a voluntary recall for 373,000 Avalon sedans, model years 2000-2004, in order to replace a faulty steering column bracket.

Toyota Motor Company has announced a new recall that will affect approximately 373,000 Avalon large sedans, model years 2000 through 2004, due to a steering column bracket that could potentially fail in various situations.

According to Toyota, as a result of improper casting of the steering lock bar, which is an integral part of the steering interlock system, there is a possibility that a minute crack may develop on the surface of the bar. Over time, the crack can potentially continue to expand, eventually compromising the entire bar and causing a complete failure - making the interlock system difficult to unlock when stationary.

Toyota says that if the break occurs while the vehicle is being driven, and with the steering wheel turned to the right, a chain of events could result in a fully locked steering wheel while in motion, greatly increasing the chance of an accident.

"Toyota is continuing to work diligently to address safety issues wherever they arise and to strengthen our global quality assurance operations so that Toyota owners can be confident in the safety of their vehicles," said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America.

The official recall notice will begin mailing in late August, advising the need to have the vehicle serviced which should take approximately two hours of labor.