It's no fun to kick someone while they're down, but the hits just keep coming for Toyota/Lexus. The latest round of vehicle defects that could have a serious impact on your safety behind the wheel: the steering wheel itself. Or rather, the system that controls it.

Lexus is preparing for a voluntary recall of the LS due to problems with the speed-sensitive steering that could cause it to be slow to return to center. It's not yet clear which specific year models are affected--that will see about 4,500 cars affected in the U.S. and 11,500 worldwide. That's not a large number of cars, nor is it a huge percentage of the LS's total sales. About 70,000 of the cars delivered in the U.S. over the last three years.

Nevertheless, it's another blow to the manufacturer that once prided itself on its reputation for reliability in comparison to American and German luxury marques. Quick action to solve the problem, which is apparently already underway, can't erase the fact that the problem exists.

For more on the recall, check out Richard Read's article at TheCarConnection.

[The Wall Street Journal]