Toyota steering flaw Federal grand jury seeks details

ToyotaToyota has been issued a subpoena by a federal grand jury in New York following defects reported in its steering relay rods.

This is Toyota’s second subpoena this year, last one being about Toyota vehicles accelerating without driver attempting to do so.

Toyota said, "The company and its subsidiary are sincerely cooperating with authorities on the probe."

Toyota informed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in May announced was trying to investigate about whether Toyota had delayed telling authorities about a defect in its steering relay rods.

Sean Kane, a safety advocate who has researched the steering issue, referring to the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, passed in 2000 after congressional investigations into the Ford Explorer and Firestone tires, said, "It has the appearance of being a criminal investigation under the TREAD Act. NHTSA has a strong case that Toyota may have misled the agency about the defect."

According to the U.S. safety agency there have been scores of incidents due to this defect leading to at least 15 crashes, three deaths and seven injuries.

According to government filings by the automaker, in September 2005 Toyota had issued a recall for the steering defect but not many vehicles had been fixed.