ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will recall about 8,000 model-year 2010 Tacoma pickup trucks in the United States, the latest in a series of recalls that have hurt the automaker's sales and its reputation for quality.
In a document sent to U.S. dealers on Thursday and obtained by Reuters, Toyota said the all-wheel drive version of the 2010 Tacoma trucks may have a component containing cracks in the joint portion of the drive shaft due to an "improper manufacturing process control."
The cracks may lead to the separation of the drive shaft and the separated shaft may come into contact with the road surface, potentially causing drivers to lose control of the vehicle, the document showed.
The front drive shafts are manufactured by Dana Holding Corp, and the affected vehicles were produced from mid-December 2009 to early February, according to the document.
Representatives at Toyota were not immediately available for comment. Ohio-based supplier Dana was not immediately available for comment.
The latest move follows a string of recalls over the past few months that cover more than 8.5 million vehicles globally due to the risk that a loose floormat or a sticky accelerator pedal may lead to unintended acceleration.
Toyota notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday of its intention to conduct a safety recall, the document showed.
The potential defect in Tacomas was discovered during the manufacturing process of the front drive shaft at supplier Dana, the document showed. Toyota said it was not aware of any accidents related to the condition.
The 2005-2010 model year Tacoma trucks were also involved in a safety recall last September for the risk of unintended acceleration, which Toyota said was linked to floormats that can become lodged under the acceleration pedal.
Toyota sold about 112,000 Tacomas in the United States last year, down from nearly 145,000 in 2008.
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim, additional reporting by Bernie Woodall, editing by Matthew Lewis)