In a statement, Toyota said, "the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring."
Should that occur, it would be accompanied by a noise and a warning light should light up.
Toyota said failing to repair the problem could cause the belt on the power steering pump to detach, leading to "sudden increase in steering effort."
The recall involves 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles with V6 engines.
That includes the 2004 Avalon, the 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Solara, 2006 Highlander HV, 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330 and 2006 RX400h vehicles.
Toyota said it would fix the problem at no charge, if necessary.
The firm said it would notify vehicle owners of the recall in January 2012, but those who detect a problem should contact a dealership sooner.
Consumers can call 800-331-4331 for information.