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Toyota recalls 228,000 new Tacoma pickups for oil leaks

Lose enough oil, and the rear differential might seize up entirely.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Traditionally, oil leaks that lead to recalls can become fire hazards. In the case of Toyota's latest recall, these leaks can be a safety hazard in a different way.

Toyota has issued a safety recall for approximately 228,000 examples of the 2016-2017 Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup truck. Apparently, the issue stems from some fasteners that might not be, you know, fastened.

Long story short, if you see oil under your rear differential, it would behoove you to stop driving.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

The problem is located in the rear differential. The orb of gears that sends power from the driveshaft to each rear wheel might leak oil. If a driver continues to operate the Tacoma while oil is leaking out, it could damage the differential, limiting forward motion and making a whole bunch of noise.

In a worst-case scenario, enough oil may leak out to where the differential will seize, which can cause a loss of control. That will obviously increase the risk of injury, which is a big ol' no-no as far as vehicle operation is concerned.

To remedy the issue, Toyota will inspect each affected vehicle. If there are no leaks, technicians will re-tighten the fasteners in question. If there's a leak, Toyota will install new fasteners and a new rear differential carrier gasket. Finally, if the differential has suffered damage already, Toyota will replace the whole thing for free.

Owners will be notified by first-class mail starting in mid-June.