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Toyota Will Replace Gas Pedals on 3.8 Million Vehicles

Additional steps needed on some to prevent runaway cars.

by on Nov.25, 2009

Toyota will replace the accelerator pedals on 3.8 million cars, including this 2010 Camry, and install brake override systems on many of them in an effort to prevent runaway acceleration.

Toyota will replace the accelerator pedals on millions of cars, including this 2010 Camry, and install brake override systems on many of them to prevent runaway acceleration.

Just weeks after it began advising 3.8 million owners that their cars would be called back due to floor mats that can jam the accelerator, Toyota now says it will also replace gas pedals in vehicles that could experience sudden, uncontrolled acceleration.

The automaker initially said that loose or poorly installed floor mats could become jammed under the accelerator making it difficult to slow the vehicle.  The maker now plans to shorten existing pedals and will install entirely new pedals when they become available next April.

Your Braking News Source!

Your Braking News Source!

“The safety of our owners and the public is our utmost concern and Toyota has and will continue to thoroughly investigate and take appropriate measures to address any defect trends that are identified,” the company said.

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Toyota Facing Yet Another Recall

110,000 Tundra pickups cited for excess rust that could cause brakes to fail and spare tires to fall off.

by on Nov.25, 2009

Excessive corrosion could cause brakes to fail and spare tires to fall off on Toyota Tundra pickups sold between 2000 and 2003.

Excessive corrosion could cause brakes to fail and spare tires to fall off on Toyota Tundra pickups sold between 2000 and 2003.

Only weeks after notifying 3.8 million customers that deadly floor mats could cause accelerators to jam wide open, Toyota is set to launch yet another recall.

By comparison, the numbers are more modest, with just 110,000 vehicles involved, but government regulators stepped in when they realized excess rust on Tundra pickups sold during the 2000 through 2003 model-years could lead brakes to fail and spare tires to fall off.

The recall is focused on 20 states, as well as the District of Columbia, where road salts and chemical de-icers are used, during winter months, to clear roadways.  They can cause “excessive corrosion,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Recall Central

Recall Central

That, in turn, can lead to brake system failures or rust away the mounts holding spare tires underneath the vehicle.  If tires break loose, the government said, that could create a road hazard for other vehicles.  The NHTSA is recommending that until repairs can be made, motorists remove spare tires and store them in the vehicle bed.

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Ongoing Safety Investigation Could Shatter Toyota, Lexus Image

Government investigators cite floor mat problem, but also look at floor pan design.

by on Nov.19, 2009

The Prius is just one of many Toyota vehicles facing a recall - and questions about possible further safety problems allegedly causing "runaway cars."

The Prius is just one of many Toyota vehicles facing a recall - and questions about possible further safety problems allegedly causing "runaway cars."

With legal pressures mounting, Toyota is working with federal safety regulators to see if another problem may be contributing to what some are dubbing “runaway cars,” a problem that recently spurred the Japanese maker to recall 3.8 million vehicles, including some popular models like the Camry and Prius.

A senior Toyota official, earlier this month, insisted that the problem is caused by floor mats that can be wedged, inadvertently, under the gas pedal.  Bob Carter, general manager of the Toyota division, asserted that discussions of other problems are just, “unwarranted speculation.”  But federal regulators are now looking at other options, notably including a potentially defective floor plan design.  And others involved in the matter continue to point to possibly faulty electronic systems, including vehicle sensors.

The ongoing investigation — and debate — is proving worrisome for Toyota, which has carefully cultivated an image of being the safest, most reliable and most consumer-focused of automotive brands.  While company officials insist they are being open with the public, and government investigators, they worry the issue could start tarnishing the brand if it isn’t resolved soon.

Your Auto News Source!

Your Auto News Source!

“My only fear, now, it timing,” said Mark Templin, general manager of Toyota’s premium division, Lexus.  “I have full confidence in our cars, but it’s a matter of getting a vehicle-based resolution before people get overly concerned.”

But despite earlier comments by Toyota officials that the government investigation has clearly shown the floor mats to be the cause of the problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, cautions the case is not closed.  NHTSA openly confirms that it is looking at floor pan design as well as carpet mats, which can come loose if not carefully remounted, for example, after a Toyota product is cleaned at a car wash.

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Toyota Facing Class Action Lawsuit Over Recall

California firm cites claims of runaway vehicles.

by on Nov.09, 2009

The plaintiff in a new class-action lawsuit against Toyota owned a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser, similar to this, and one of many vehicles the automaker is recalling.

The plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Toyota owned a 2008 FJ Cruiser, similar to this, one of many vehicles the automaker is recalling.

Citing 16 deaths and hundreds of injuries allegedly caused by a defect that can cause “runaway” vehicles, a California law firm has filed a national class action suit against Toyota.

The lawsuit is the latest twist in a story the Japanese maker had hoped would go away when it announced, earlier this autumn, plans to recall nearly 4 million vehicles for a potential safety defect.

The automaker has put the blame on the design of its floor mats which, it has said, can be improperly installed and snag the accelerator pedal, making it difficult for a driver to stop the vehicle.

More than just headlines!

More Than Headlines!

The problem is only caused by “out-of-position and inappropriate floor mats,” Bob Carter, head of the flagship Toyota division, said during an appearance in Detroit, last week.  The executive insisted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had ruled out other potential causes, such as electronic interference with Toyota’s engine control computers, labeling talk about other possible causes “unwarranted speculation.”

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