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Toyota Europe Recalls Eight Models for Bad Pedals

Accelerator pedal sticking problem is going global. Another 1.8 million units could be affected. More recalls coming?

by on Jan.29, 2010

Unlike the U.S., Toyota in Europe will keep producing vehicles.

Toyota Motor Europe officially announced this morning the recall of eight Toyota models in Europe for the same sticking pedal problem that has the U.S. Congress demanding public hearings. The vehicles are among the most popular in its European range.

TheDetroitBureau.com reported on the expansion of the recall in Europe and Asia earlier in the week. A recall is now underway in China as well.

The number of European involved units is still under investigation at the beleaguered company, but may include as many as 1.8 million more vehicles. No Lexus models and no other Toyota models are affected, thus far.

We have been unable to determine if multiple suppliers or just one, CTS, is the maker of the defective pedals. Denso is known to be a supplier of Toyota pedals as well, and possibly Hella.

Last week Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) announced last it would recall approximately 2.3 million vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals on eight Toyota Division models. It was subsequently revealed that CTS  made the pedals to Toyota’s design specifications. Toyota also stopped the sales of the vehicles and plans to halt production at five North American plants, after the U.S. Secretary of Transportation intervened to prompt the action.

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A running change in production using different parts has already been implemented for the models on sale in Europe. Toyota Europe also said in a statement that there is “no need or intention to stop production in Europe.” Whether that holds remains to be seen.

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CTS Says Toyota Responsible for Pedal Recall

Maker says it’s a mechanical, not electrical problem. Fix is already in production. Toyota knew of the problem "for a while."

by on Jan.28, 2010

The chairman of CTS, a global manufacturer of  recalled gas pedals by Toyota Motor Sales, told investors during an earnings conference call today that the problem was caused by environmental conditions that went beyond Toyota’s design specifications for the assemblies.

CTS Chairman Vinod Khilnani said that the company provides gas pedals for use by other makers that are “very different” pedal designs. The  electrical sensor in the pedal has nothing to do with the issue.

Condensation makes the Toyota pedal “harder to depress, slower to return to the idle position, and in rare situations, Toyota believes, it may get stuck in a partially depressed position,” said Khilnani.

He said the company has no knowledge of an accident or injury caused by its pedals.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc, a TMC subsidiary, announced last week  it would recall approximately 2.3 million vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals on eight Toyota Division models.

Three of the CTS’s plants are already making redesigned pedals,  and Khilnani added that CTS had been working with Toyota “for a while” on a revised pedal, which included testing by both companies.

“It has been agreed as the solution,” Khilnani said.   (more…)

Indiana Toyota Supplier Denies Making Bad Pedals

CTS says it has no knowledge of accidents or injuries.

by on Jan.27, 2010

CTS Corporation (NYSE: CTS) said this afternoon that the pedals it supplied to Toyota met its design specifications. The company made at least some of the pedals involved in the recall.

“Based on information that Toyota has provided us, we are aware of fewer than a dozen instances where this condition has occurred, and in no instance did the accelerator actually become stuck in a partially depressed condition,” CTS said in a carefully worded statement.

The assertion comes as Toyota Motor Corporation considers expanding its pedal recall from the North America to other global markets.

Toyota’s credibility about its assertions of the causes of runaway or unintended acceleration accidents has been damaged by recent events. Although the company continually said that it was caused by a floor mat interference problem, at least one accident, involving multiple fatalities, has been reported where the floor mats were removed from the car and locked in the trunk when the deaths occurred.

The company announced yesterday that it would stop sales of about 60% of its vehicles (by volume) in North America while it searches for a root cause.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc, a TMC subsidiary, announced last week  it would recall approximately 2.3 million vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals on eight Toyota Division models.

This action is separate – thus far — from the on-going recall of approximately 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles to reduce the risk of “pedal entrapment” by incorrect or out of place accessory floor mats. Approximately 1.7 million Toyota Division vehicles are subject to both recall actions.   (more…)

Toyota Preparing to take Pedal Recall Global!

Troublesome pedal design is used throughout the world.

by on Jan.27, 2010

The Corolla has a worldwide problem?

Toyota Motor Corporation is in discussions with other governments or safety agencies about potential actions similar to the ones undertaken in the U.S. to correct defects in accelerator pedals, according to people close to the situation.

If a sales halt and plant shut downs occur in other regions, like the ones announced yesterday covering North America, it will make it harder for the world’s largest automaker to return to profitability.

It was not immediately clear if the modifications will affect only left-hand-drive models used in Europe, Africa and China, or include Asian right-hand-drive models.

Toyota has thus far not revealed the root cause of the problem, and previous assertions that acceleration issues was solely a floor mat issue in the U.S. have proved false.

There is a strong economic incentive at auto companies to try to limit the number of vehicles covered by a recall. In the Toyota pedal matter, expensive mechanical, computer and software fixes are required.

Either way, millions upon millions more cars, pickup trucks and SUVs  potentially will require repairs, with unknown effects on Toyota’s new vehicle sales, owner loyalty and reputation.

Toyota is predicting a sales increase to 8.27 million units globally for this calendar year, up 6% from, 7.81 million in 2009, which represented a 13% decline from 2008.

In North American, 2.3 million vehicles are — thus far — covered for sticking accelerator pedals in the latest recall that was announced on Monday by Toyota Motor Sales, a subsidiary of TMC. Included in the recall is the Corolla model, the best selling nameplate in the world.

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It is also not clear, if there is a sizable population of vehicles outside of North America with a separate or perhaps related problem with runaway acceleration. In North America, 4.2 million vehicles are impacted by a a previous floor mat recall.

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It’s Official as Toyota Recalls Deadly Floor Mats

Japanese company denies it’s a safety related defect though.

by on Oct.12, 2009

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Remove driver's floor mat and don't replace it.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced this morning that Toyota Motor Corporation will recall 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles because of incompatible floor mats.

In August a California State Highway Patrol officer and three family members were killed when their loaner Lexus ES350 crashed at 100 mph after its accelerator froze from a misplaced floor mat.

NHTSA said, “A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death.”

It is the largest recall in Toyota’s history. The common dealership practice of forcing Toyota and Lexus buyers to purchase floor mats as part of a new car sale is partially responsible for the size of the safety action.

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Nissan Recalls Models with Bad Chinese Parts

Some 2009-2010 Altima and Maxima models have defective Chinese-made strut insulators, possibly affecting stability.

by on Sep.21, 2009

It steers better when the front struts stay attached.

It steers better if the front struts are attached.

Nissan North America, Inc. is recalling  2009 and 2010 Altima and Maxima passenger cars because of a defective Chinese-made part. More than 26,000 vehicles are involved at this time.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the upper front strut insulators may have been manufactured out of specification, resulting in a potential for the strut insulator to crack.

If the strut insulator is cracked, the strut rod to come out of its correct mounting position, which could affect vehicle stability and increase the risk of a crash.

If this were to occur, according to Nissan, the strut rod would begin to make a loud noise the driver would hear. Under normal driving conditions, the suspension remains intact as the strut spring is contained within the body strut-tower housing and the strut rod would remain within the inner diameter of the strut spring, so the vehicle operation is “not degraded.”

However, under certain “extreme driving conditions,” there is some potential for the strut rod to come out of its mounting position, which could affect vehicle operation and increase the risk of a crash.

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BMW Recalls New Z4 Sports Cars

Defective seat belt tensioner wiring is the culprit.

by on Aug.17, 2009

Oops! The wiring is not right for the pre-tensioners to explode during a crash.

Oops! A wiring connection is not quite right for the seat belt pre-tensioners to explode during a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported this morning that BMW will recall 2009 model Z4 sports cars for a selt belt defect, which in an accident could potentially result in increased injuries.

Vehicle manufactured between March 10 and March 19, 2009 have a defective crimp in the connector in a seat belt pensioner wiring plug. As a result, the resistance in the circuit could cause the belt tensioner to fail to deploy during a crash, “possibly resulting in increased injury to the occupant of the seat.

NHTSA reports that BMW has not yet provided the agency with “a remedy or notification schedule.”

Owners may contact BMW at 1-800-831-1117. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to http://www.safercar.gov.