AP source: US govt to investigate Toyota Corolla

2010 Toyota Corolla and Camrys are shown in a fenced lot behind a dealership in Warren, Mich., Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday, its sales fell 16 percent in January, hurt by a recall of eight popular models due to faulty gas pedals.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

February 17, 2010 7:39:39 PM PST
A Transportation Department official says the department plans to open a formal investigation into the 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla over potential problems with the car's power steering.

The preliminary investigation is expected to be opened on Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the department had not yet notified Toyota of the probe.

Toyota Motor Corp. said earlier Wednesday it was looking into complaints of power steering problems with the Corolla and was considering a recall. Toyota said there have been fewer than 100 complaints.

Drivers have complained they feel they were losing control over the steering, particularly at highway speeds. Toyota sold nearly 300,000 Corollas in the United States last year.