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No Timetable Yet for Repairs on Pontiac Vibe

GM says it's waiting to hear from Toyota, as are millions of Toyota owners on affected vehicles with sticking pedals.

by on Feb.01, 2010

Vibe, sold by the now defunct Pontiac division, is functionally the same as the Toyota Matrix.

It looks like Pontiac Vibe owners will have to wait a bit longer before finding out details of the recall of their crossover vehicle, which was built on the same assembly line as the Toyota Matrix, one of eight vehicles due to undergo repairs because of  a potentially sticky accelerator pedal.

A total of 4.5 million vehicles have been targeted by the Japanese giant as part of the latest in a series of safety-related problems.  The Vibe, produced by the now defunct General Motors division, is functionally the same as the Matrix, sharing the same accelerator assembly that is giving Toyota so much trouble.

Repairs of the various Toyota models should begin later this week, Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, announced Monday as part of a media blitz designed to defuse the impact of the automaker’s quality problems.

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As for Vibe, “We just don’t know,” said GM spokesman Alan Adler, adding that, “We’re working it out with them.”

The fix for vehicles already in the field is relatively simple, said Lentz, requiring the addition of a small piece of steel that is designed to resist binding within the accelerator assembly.  The Toyota executive blamed condensation for the intermittent problem which he insisted is a relatively rare occurrence but one, nonetheless that can have dire consequences.

If past recalls involving both Matrix and Vibe are any indication, said another GM source, it’s likely the U.S. maker will have to wait until Toyota dealers have a good supply of the necessary repair parts before those handling the Pontiac repairs are supplied.

In all, there are about 99,000 Vibes on the recall list for the accelerator recall, in the U.S. and Canada.  But the vehicles are also being recalled in connection with another safety problem Toyota announced last October.  That recall is the result of floor mats that, if they come loose, can jam the vehicle’s accelerator.

So far, GM reports having received no complaints of sticking accelerators, but the maker also said it has conducted tests, in recent days, to see what might happen if the problem did occur.

As the accelerator recall is the result of a Toyota-sourced part, GM spokesman Adler said, “It is our expectation that they (Toyota) will be” responsible for the cost to GM and its dealers for the recall of the Vibe.

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2 Responses to “No Timetable Yet for Repairs on Pontiac Vibe”

  1. JB says:

    Actually, a small point. Vibe was built at NUMMI, while all Matrix vehicles were built in Canada. Vibe was “built on the same assembly line” as Corolla.

    • tdb says:

      Absolutely correct, JB. My mistake. Basically three takes on the same platform, Vibe and Matrix all but identical, but Corolla and Vibe rolling down the NUMMI line in Fremont, CA. Thank you for catching that.
      Paul A. Eisenstein