I brought my Toyota to Smail Acura for the complimentary annual state inspection like I always have since purchasing it used from this dealership. According to Joseph Giarrusso (Licence #4376) it failed the annual safety check due to an alleged issue with the intermediate steering shaft. The mechanic said the shaft was making a clunking noise whenever you turned the wheel aggressively, and needed to be replaced as it was a safety issue. He said the car would also have to be realigned after replacing the shaft. Total estimated cost for the repairs would be $650.00usd for the part and installation, and $139.95 for the alignment.
I declined the repair, and called the local Toyota dealership. The service manager said it was a common issue for some Toyotas, but that it wasn't a safety issue and it should have passed the state inspection. He also stated that if it was done by a trained mechanic, alignment was also unnecessary. All that would be necessary to alleviate the annoying clunk would be to grease the splines on the intermediate steering shaft.
I understand that business profits are down during the Covid crisis, however I believe Smail Acura tried to give me the "shaft" by this unnecessary repair, and simply applied grease to the splines and it passed the safety inspection at the Toyota dealership. No more annoying clunk when the steering wheel is aggressively turned. Total cost: about $1.00usd.