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Toyota Corolla Faces U.S. Investigation

Toyota's Corolla has a potential power steering problem and the U.S. Transportation Department plans to open a formal investigation.

TOKYO (

TheStreet

) --

Toyota's

(TM) - Get Report

Corolla has a potential power steering problem and the U.S. Transportation Department plans to open a formal investigation.

A department official told the

Associated Press

a preliminary investigation is expected to be opened Thursday and involves about 500,000 vehicles.

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Toyota said Wednesday it was considering a

recall of the Corolla subcompact

because of possible power-steering problems. Toyota said it has received fewer than 100 complaints with the Corolla, the world's best-selling car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has received a little more than 150 complaints from drivers in the U.S. about the issue. The department said the investigation involves about 363,000 2009 Corollas and 136,000 vehicles from the 2010 model year.

Toyota has recalled 8.5 million of its cars because of problems with sticking gas pedals, floor mats and braking systems.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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