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Pontiacs Ensnared in Toyota’s 15th Recall of Year

Almost 200,000 of the NUMMI built Pontiac Vibes are affected.

by on Aug.27, 2010

Ah the joys of a joint-venture car. How long will owners have to wait for parts?

Toyota Motor Co. announced a safety recall Thursday for 1.13 million Toyota Corolla and Matrix models from the 2005-2008 model years. It was the beleaguered company’s 15th recall of the year. Also included in the recall, but not the release, are 199,163 Pontiac Vibe models from same model years because of a faulty powertrain control.

During the past year, Toyota consistently denied that there was a stalling problem with the vehicles, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened up a more detailed investigation into the problem last  week as consumer complaints continued to appear.

NHTSA, of course, is under heavy criticism for dismissing complaints about Toyota safety matters, and two former Toyota employees were working at the safety agency on Toyota matters while unintended acceleration and floor mat entrapment complaints were dismissed.

Compounding the problem is the fact that Toyota in the U.S. does not have the authority to recall vehicles, only the parent company in Japan can, as was revealed during harshly critical U.S. Congressional hearings on Toyota quality and safety matters.

Recalls and Analysis!

The 2-wheel-drive Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix are sister vehicles built between April 2004 and January 2008 at the former New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. joint venture in California between GM and Toyota. The vehicles were designed and engineered by Toyota.  Toyota closed the unionized plant in its largest U.S. market this past April in favor of moving production to a new non-union plant in Alabama, which will build the next generation 2012 Corolla – the world’s most popular nameplate since surpassing the previous tile holder, the Volkswagen Beetle.


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.”