Toyota recalls 2.3 million US vehicles for accelerator problem
Friday 22 January 2010
Toyota Motor Thursday recalled 2.3 million vehicles in the United States to fix a problem with sticking accelerator pedals, the latest in a series of recalls by the world's largest automaker.
The Japanese company's US division said in a statement that the recall was to correct accelerator pedals on specific Toyota models that become worn and then in some cases get lodged in a partially depressed position.
The action was separate to an ongoing recall of about 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles that was begun last year due to a risk that loose floor mats could slip forward and jam the pedals, it said.
"In recent months, Toyota has investigated isolated reports of sticking accelerator pedal mechanisms in certain vehicles without the presence of floor mats," Irv Miller, vice president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said in a statement.
"Our investigation indicates that there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position," he added.
"Consistent with our commitment to the safety of our cars and our customers, we have initiated this voluntary recall action."
The models involved are the RAV4 2009 to 2010 (model year), Corolla (2009-2010), Matrix (2009-2010), Avalon (2005-2010), Camry (2007-2010), Highlander (2010), Tundra (2007-2010) and Sequoia (2008-2010).
The condition could happen when the accelerator pedal mechanism becomes worn, making it harder to depress, slower to return to idle "or, in the worst case, stuck in a partially depressed position," the statement said.
It said drivers experiencing a sticking pedal could control the car with "firm and steady application of the brakes" - without pumping the pedal - and to then guide it to the nearest safe location.
Toyota, which overtook US rival GM in 2008 as the world's largest automaker, issued its largest recall to date in early October to correct the separate floor mat problem.
It came after a California Highway Patrol officer and three members of his family were killed in a fiery crash when the accelerator pedal of their Lexus became entrapped in the floor mat.
Around 1.7 million Toyota vehicles are subject to both separate recall actions, the statement said.
Toyota's US division has made a number of other recalls in the past year.
In November it announced the recall of 110,000 of its Toyota Tundra pick-up trucks in the United States, amid concern over corrosion on the vehicle's frame that could damage brake lines and cause the spare wheel to become loose.
In August, the company recalled some 95,700 cars in the United States, saying icing in cold temperatures could impair the braking system.
Toyota is also facing a potential safety issue with its highest profile vehicle, the Prius, with a growing number of complaints that brakes on the 2010 model can malfunction unexpectedly.
The automaker says it has launched its own investigation.
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