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First-generation Toyota Sequoia under investigation for steering, braking issues

Two crashes and five injuries are reportedly linked to problems with the 2001-2002 model years, with an investigation that could lead to a full-on recall.

David Dewhurst

Recalls don't happen overnight. If the feds catch wind of a number of owners experiencing the same problems, they'll launch an investigation, followed by an actual recall, provided there's reason to do so. Regulators are currently in the investigation phase regarding the first-generation Toyota Sequoia and its stability control system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating improper stability-control engagement on the 2001-2002 Toyota Sequoia SUV, Reuters reports. The NHTSA claims there are 135 complaints, all of which involve the stability control kicking in at incorrect times, with individual wheels braking and the steering pulling to either the right or left.

Thus far, two crashes and five injuries are allegedly linked to this issue, which could affect some 135,000 vehicles, if it becomes a recall. Of the owners that have had the problem diagnosed, it appears to be related to a faulty sensor that could cause the system to kick in at highway speeds, which is not the time you want the vehicle pitching about, especially when it's as large as the full-size Sequoia.

Reuters also points out that the 2003 Sequoia was already recalled for low-speed stability control engagement back in 2010, following a 2008 investigation. Toyota recalled the vehicles, despite claiming that it wasn't really a safety issue.

"We are aware that the NHTSA has opened a Preliminary Evaluation concerning the 2001 and 2002 model year Sequoia," said Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight in a statement. "Customer safety and satisfaction is a top priority for Toyota. We will cooperate with the agency in its investigation, as we have previously."