Facts and figures on Toyota's massive recalls

Toyota Motor has been plagued by a series of safety issues spanning brakes, accelerator pedals and floor mats. Here are some facts and figures on the problems, according to the company:

- Floor mats: The Japanese giant is pulling almost 5.3 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in North America - its biggest-ever recall - to replace floor mats that could trap accelerator pedals.

Toyota says the problem occurs when an unsecured or incompatible driver's floor mat interferes with the accelerator pedal, potentially making the vehicle difficult to control and stop.

To resolve the issue, Toyota is replacing floor mats, reconfiguring the shape of the gas pedal and, in some cases, the floor surface.

Toyota also plans to install a brake override system in affected Camry, Avalon and Lexus models that cuts engine power when the driver steps on both the gas and brake pedals.

The recall involves the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2005-2010 Avalon, the 2004-2009 Prius, the 2005-2010 Tacoma, the 2007-2010 Tundra, the 2008-2010 Highlander, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2009-2010 Venza and the 2009-2010 Matrix. It also covers the Lexus 2006-2010 IS 250, 2006-2010 IS 350 and 2007-2010 ES 350.

About 1.7 million of the vehicles are also affected by a separate recall due to sticky accelerator pedals.

- Sticky accelerator pedals: Toyota is recalling almost 4.63 million vehicles worldwide to repair gas pedals that may, in rare cases, stick in a partially depressed position.

The company says the problem seems to occur when the pedal becomes worn and condensation builds up inside, increasing friction and making the pedal slow to return to the idle position or stick with the throttle partially open.

Toyota's solution is to put a steel reinforcement bar into the pedal assembly to reduce friction.

In the meantime, if drivers need to stop immediately, the vehicle can be controlled by stepping firmly and steadily on the brake pedal with both feet.

The recall covers the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2009-2010 Matrix, the 2005-2010 Avalon, the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010 Sequoia.

Not affected are Highlander hybrids and Camry hybrids, as well as Camry, RAV 4, Corolla and Highlander vehicles with vehicle identification numbers (VINs) that begin with "J".

The action affects 2.3 million vehicles in the United States, 1.8 million in Europe, 270,000 in Canada, 75,000 in China, 80,000 in Africa, 60,000 in Latin America and 40,000 in the Middle East.

- Prius brakes: Toyota says the latest version of its popular Prius hybrid, which was rolled out last year, has a flaw that means drivers may experience a delay when they step on the brakes.

The company says it redesigned the anti-lock braking system - designed to prevent skidding on bumpy and slippery roads - for Prius cars produced since last month.

Toyota is also expected to recall as many as 300,000 Prius cars this week in Japan, the United States and other countries to fix the software glitch. It is also checking Lexus hybrids to see if they have a similar problem.

It says the delay occurs when the vehicle switches to the conventional hydraulic brake from regenerative braking, used by hybrids to capture the energy of the car's motion to recharge the battery for its electric motor.

Drivers can stop if they continue to push on the brakes, Toyota says.

Some Prius drivers, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, have also complained their cars sped up while in cruise control. Toyota says it has never found an incident of unintended acceleration caused by a software problem.

roc-dr/jit

 

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