Yesterday, Toyota Motor Corporation extended its recall from last fall and added an additional 2.3 million vehicles to the recall list over problems with accelerators in a number of its most popular vehicles. Toyota also suspended sales and stopped production of a number of the models subject to the recall until a fix can be implemented. The accelerator problem has been linked to a number of motor vehicle accidents throughout the country involving serious injuries and deaths to occupants.
This has been a public relations nightmare for Toyota that is not getting any better as each day passes. While Toyota has told federal investigators that it thinks a friction problem in its accelerator pedal mechanisms may make the pedal "harder to depress, slower to return, or, in the worst case, mechanically stuck in a partially depressed position", CTS Corp, the supplier that makes the devices for Toyota, said in a statement Wednesday that the friction problem accounts for fewer than a dozen cases stuck accelerators and, "in no instance did the accelerator actually become stuck in a partially depressed condition".
The Toyota vehicles subject to the recall include the following makes and models:
- 2009-2010 RAV4
- 2009-2010 Corolla
- 2009-2010 Matrix
- 2005-2010 Avalon
- 2007-2010 Camry (except hybrids)
- 2010 Highlander (except hybrids)
- 2007-2010 Tundra
- 2008-2010 Sequoia
No Lexus Division or Scion vehicles are affected by the new recall. Also not affected are Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Highlander hybrids and Camry hybrids, which will remain for sale.
According to Toyota, if you experience a sticking accelerator pedal while driving, you should take one of the following actions:
• If you need to stop immediately, the vehicle can be controlled by stepping on the brake pedal with both feet using firm and steady pressure. Do not pump the brake pedal as it will deplete the vacuum utilized for the power brake assist.
• Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
• If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.
• If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.
• If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. DO NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.
Customers who have any questions or have experienced any issues with their accelerator pedals should visit Toyota.com, contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331, or call their local Toyota dealer.