Monday, February 1, 2010
Toyota Has Pedal To The Metal In Recall To Fix Stuck Accelerator
Toyota is responding quickly and hopes to maintain customer loyalty with apologies from Toyota Motor Sales President & COO Jim Lentz and swift action to resolve an issue which has apparently caused 19 deaths according to longtime consumer watchdog and former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader who was interviewed on KNX News Radio in Los Angeles today. Nader also said that the under-staffed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has known about this problem for a some time.
Toyota said today that it will begin fixing accelerator pedals in the recalled Toyota Division vehicles this week after their engineers developed a solution that involves reinforcing the pedal assembly to eliminate the excess friction that has caused the pedals to stick in rare instances.
From the Toyota News Release:
A precision-cut steel reinforcement bar will be installed into the assembly that will reduce the surface tension between the friction shoe and the adjoining surface so excess friction that can cause the pedal to stick is eliminated. Toyota says it has confirmed the effectiveness of the newly reinforced pedals through rigorous testing on pedal assemblies that had previously shown a tendency to stick. In addition, Toyota has developed an effective solution for vehicles in production.
Parts to reinforce the pedals are already being shipped for use by dealers, and dealer training is under way. Many Toyota dealers will work extended hours to complete the recall campaign as quickly and conveniently as possible, some even staying open 24 hours a day. The company has also taken the unprecedented action of stopping production of affected vehicles for the week of February 1.
On January 21, Toyota announced its intention to recall approximately 2.3 million select Toyota Division vehicles equipped with a specific pedal assembly and suspended sales of the eight models involved in the recall on January 26.
Toyota vehicles affected by the recall include: certain 2009-2010 RAV4, certain 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, certain 2007-2010 Camry, certain 2010 Highlander, 2007-2010 Tundra and 2008-2010 Sequoia.
No Lexus Division or Scion vehicles are affected by these actions. Also not affected are Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Highlander hybrids and certain Camry models, including Camry hybrids, all of which remain for sale.
Further, Camry, RAV4, Corolla and Highlander vehicles with Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) that begin with "J" are not affected by the accelerator pedal recall.
In the event that a driver experiences an accelerator pedal that sticks in a partial open throttle position or returns slowly to idle position, the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes. The brakes should not be pumped repeatedly because it could deplete vacuum assist, requiring stronger brake pedal pressure. The vehicle should be driven to the nearest safe location, the engine shut off and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.
Detailed information and answers to questions about issues related to this recall are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.