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Posts Tagged ‘Toyota pedal recall’

Another Report of a Prius with a Stuck Pedal?

California Highway Patrol Helps Driver. Details still emerging.

by on Mar.09, 2010


CHP could not explain why the driver waited 20 minutes to turn it off and coast to a stop.

Yesterday afternoon, Monday, March 8, Toyota said it learned of a report that a California Highway Patrol (CHP) unit was dispatched in response to a 911 call from a motorist driving a 2008 Toyota Prius on Interstate 8 in San Diego County.

The Prius driver, James Sikes, 61, called 911 about 1:30 p.m. after accelerating to pass another vehicle on Interstate 8 near La Posta and finding that he could not control his car, the CHP said.

The incident raises questions anew about whether Toyota has the proper fix  to cover sticking accelerator pedal or unintended acceleration problems.

A third failure mode, an electronic software issue, has been dismissed out of hand by Toyota as “not possible,” even though complaints continue. This Prius was subject to the floor mat entrapment recall of last fall.

“I pushed the gas pedal to pass a car and it did something kind of funny… it jumped and it just stuck there,” Sikes said at a news conference. “As it was going, I was trying the brakes…it wasn’t stopping, it wasn’t doing anything and it just kept speeding up,” Sikes said, adding he could smell the brakes burning he was pressing the pedal so hard.

Following the Recalls!

A patrol car pulled alongside the Prius and officers told Sikes over a loudspeaker to push the brake pedal to the floor and apply the emergency brake.

“They also got it going on a steep upgrade,” said Officer Jesse Udovich. “Between those three things, they got it to slow down.”

CHP said the Prius  reached speeds of more than 90 mph before it was brought under control.

CHP could not explain why the driver waited so long to turn off the ignition, which he ultimately did after about 20 minutes. That’s when the car coasted to a stop. (more…)

Toyota Shipping Parts for Pontiac Vibe Pedal Recall

Pontiac owners will get the Toyota shim repair - eventually.

by on Feb.09, 2010

Shims are on the way from Toyota.

Toyota has started shipping the metal shim that it says will fix sticking accelerator pedals on 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe models.

GM says that letters to almost 100,000 registered Pontiac Vibe owners will be mailed next week starting on February 16 with instructions on how to contact a Pontiac dealer a week later (after Feb. 22)  to have steel shim installed into the accelerator pedal assembly.

Go to to find a dealer. If your Pontiac dealer has closed, it’s likely there is a Buick-GMC dealer nearby since the pre-bankruptcy distribution channel was Pontiac, Buick GMC.

The shim installation, which we view as an expedient but not permanent fix, will take about 30 minutes, but customers may need to leave their vehicles with dealers for a longer period of time.


Our previous advice to Toyota owners is to request that the pedal assembly be replaced with the revised ones that Toyota is now using in production at five North American plants.   (more…)

GM Says Vibe Brakes Stop Unintended Acceleration

Playing the “Audi" card, the distributor of a Toyota-designed vehicle, says step on the brakes, if your throttle sticks.

by on Feb.01, 2010

This is the same defense originally put forth by Audi decades ago for the same issue.

General Motors Company has tested two Pontiac Vibe models this past Saturday at the Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan after several customers complained of sticking accelerator pedals, and found the brakes stop the vehicle in case of “unintended acceleration.”

“We ran the Vibe wide open at 60 miles an hour and the brakes were able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop within 169 meters, consistent with our internal requirement for brake performance,” said Martin Hogan, GM director of brake systems.

It is the same defense originally put forth by Audi, with little positive effect, decades ago when unintended acceleration allegations were widely publicized by television newscasts.

Stay Curious!

The 2009-10 Pontiac Vibe shares the basic platform of  the Toyota Matrix crossover,and is as a result included in two the Toyota recalls related to unintended acceleration – one for sticking accelerator pedals and one for possible floor mat entrapment.   (more…)

Toyota European Pedal Fixes Start Next Week

Owners of the 1.8 million Toyota vehicles potentially affected by bad pedals have not been notified, though, as sales continue.

by on Feb.01, 2010

Issue is if "Aygo" when you want me to stop?

Toyota Motor Europe confirmed this afternoon that it would fix accelerator pedals on as many as 1.8 million vehicles in Europe.

The announcement, oddly out of sync given earlier European time zones, follows the confirmation this morning that Toyota Motor Sales in North America will add a shim to millions of vehicles that, allegedly, stops the accelerator pedal sticking problem, which covers eight of its most popular model lines.

The first shipments of parts required for the latest fix covering the ongoing, and what critics maintain is a multifaceted problem, will begin arriving in Europe next week.

The beleaguered Japanese company offered no explanation whatsoever for what the difference in parts is among its various regional suppliers and why only one is being singled out, with an attitude that increasing number of critics say  results from out-sized reputation for quality, which recently has been likened to  a fable called the “emperor has no clothes,”

Executives in the U.S. insisted that only one, company, CTS, made the defective pedals. executives in Europe and Asia have not participated in press conferences.

There are, however, growing reports that the  accelerator striking and unintended acceleration  problems also exists among Denso supplied pedal assemblies, an assertion that thus far has gone without acknowledgment or any comment in spite of’s repeated requests for clarification at the affected companies and in their affected regions.

In Europe, Toyota says it – eventually — plans to contact the affected customers, without supplying any details as to how the recall will be conducted, suggesting that the company is still not on top of the rapidly unfolding controversy.   (more…)

Toyota Talks to Customers About Sticking Pedals

Video Transcript of Toyota Motor Sales president Jim Lentz’s claims about the ongoing recall controversy.

by on Feb.01, 2010

"And we’re redoubling our efforts to ensure this does not happen again."

Toyota has prepared a video to try to explain the ongoing sticking pedal controversy.  Herewith is the transcript of the tape.

The views expressed are Toyota’s, not’s – Ken Zino, editor-in-chief.

“Hi, I’m Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales USA.  I want to let you know that we have developed a comprehensive plan to fix the sticking pedal situation in recalled Toyota vehicles.

‘But first, I want to sincerely apologize to Toyota owners.

‘I know that our recalls have caused many of you concern… and for that  … I am truly sorry.


‘Toyota has always prided itself on building high quality, durable cars that customers can depend on…and I know that we have let you down. I want you to know that all 172,000-plus Toyota and dealership employees across North America will work hard to fix your vehicle properly and regain your trust.

‘In fact, many of our dealers will have extended hours and some will remain open 24 hours a day to get this job done.


Toyota Pedal Repair: Frequently Asked Questions

Here is the latest from Toyota Motor Sales on how to get your sticking Toyota accelerator pedal, eventually, fixed.

by on Feb.01, 2010

How long it will take to shim the pedal in millions of vehicles is an unanswered question.

Inquiries continue to increase about the controversial Toyota sticking accelerator pedal recall.

Toyota announced a fix in the early hours of this morning. These are the latest statements from Toyota about what it will do to solve the problem in North America.

When is an entirely different matter? There are millions of affected vehicles, and it is not clear how the limited number of dealers can service them in a timely manner, even if it is a 30-minute fix that just shims the pedal. The views expressed are those of Toyota and not necessarily those of the – Ken Zino, editor-in-chief.

1. What is the solution Toyota announced to fix sticking accelerator pedals?

Limiting pedal travel solves the problem?

Toyota’s engineers have developed and rigorously tested a solution that is both effective and simple. A precision-cut steel reinforcement bar will be installed into the accelerator pedal assembly, thereby eliminating the excess friction that has caused pedals to stick in rare instances.

2. What is the problem that could cause accelerators to stick and led to the recall?

The issue involves a friction device in the pedal designed to provide the proper “feel” by adding resistance and making the pedal steady and stable.

This friction device includes a “shoe” that rubs against an adjoining surface during normal pedal operation. Due to the materials used, wear and environmental conditions, these surfaces may, over time, begin to stick and release instead of operating smoothly. In some cases, friction could increase to a point that the pedal is slow to return to the idle position or, in rare cases, the pedal sticks, leaving the throttle partially open.

3. How does a steel reinforcement bar solve this problem?

The steel reinforcement bar will reduce the surface tension between the friction shoe and the adjoining surface. With this reinforcement in place, the excess friction that can cause the pedal to stick is eliminated.

4. How does Toyota know that this solution will be effective?

We have confirmed the effectiveness of the newly reinforced pedals through rigorous testing on pedal assemblies that had previously shown a tendency to stick.  Nothing is more important to Toyota than the safety and satisfaction of our customers, and we have high confidence in our solution for fixing our customers’ vehicles.

5. When can I get my vehicle fixed?


We will begin contacting customers to let them know when to bring in their vehicles for the fix, and some of them will be notified as early as this week.   (more…)

GM Claims Pontiac Vibe is Safe to Drive

No "relevant” customer pedal complaints on shared, and recalled, Toyota design with 2009-10 Pontiac Vibe models.

by on Jan.29, 2010

The Vibe show can go on, according to General Motors. It does have pedal complaints, though.

Neither the Toyota unintended acceleration floor mat recall, nor last week’s sticking pedal recall should give Pontiac Vibe owners any cause for concern, according to General Motors.

Even though the Vibe shares a common platform with the recalled Toyota Corolla and Matrix models, “based on GM’s experience, the Vibe is safe to drive,” was told by a General Motors spokesperson.

GM has not received any “relevant” customer complaints for the 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe.

The company also says that there were not any complaints found in a search of U.S. and Canadian databases.

However, since it was announced that the Vibe was included in the two Toyota recalls, GM says “we have received several complaints of alleged sticking accelerator pedals. To the best of our knowledge, the Vibe vehicles were safely brought to a stop. We are investigating each of the claims.”

GM says it will communicate with the approximately 99,000 Vibe owners in the United States and Canada as soon as it receives additional information to share about the recall from Toyota.

Any customer who experiences any accelerator pedal issue should immediately park the vehicle, and have it towed to their GM dealer for an inspection, the company said.

The Vibe was built through August 2009 at the New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, Calif., which was a joint venture of GM and Toyota.

Toyota is in the process of shutting the plant down.

Toyota Pedals Shipping to Factories not Helping People? Here come the Politicians Piling On

Toyota says all in due time. Dealers left without a remedy as owners panic and the posturing and finger pointing begins.

by on Jan.29, 2010

Another example of a regulatory agency not doing its job? NHTSA is responsible for safety.

The Associated Press has just reported that Toyota is shipping pedals to its factories in North America, even though they will be shut down next week because of the recall of 2.3 million vehicles for pedal sticking problems. The list of affected vehicles  includes current production Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sequoia and Tundra models.

In a switch from its previous lethargic responses to allegations involving unintended acceleration and pedal sticking defects, Toyota Motor Sales immediately issued a carefully worded statement that says, among other things, “our highest priority is to fix the accelerator pedal problems for our existing customers, and our pedal supplier is starting to ship newly designed pedals to dealers to meet the most immediate needs.”

The statement comes after the Secretary of Transportation, who oversees the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said in a radio interview with WGN in Chicago that NHTSA had demanded the stop sale and manufacturing halt that TMS announce earlier this week.

The Toyota statement did not actually deny that a company e-mail obtained by the AP said parts were still being shipped to the automaker’s plants.  Nor did it deny that a spokesperson said Toyota had not sent parts to its dealers because it has yet to determine whether it will repair or replace the gas pedals on the 4.2 million Toyotas that have been recalled – thus far — worldwide.

The statement did say that “our pedal supplier is starting to ship newly designed pedals to dealers to meet the most immediate needs. One of the main reasons we are stopping production next week is to make more of the new pedals available to dealers right away. But at the same time, we are continuing to test effective pedal modifications for existing vehicles on the road that will be available to our customers quickly. We expect to announce a comprehensive remedy program for all affected customers and new vehicles soon.”

NHTSA says that five deaths and 17 injuries were the result of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles since 2006, but has yet to provide an explanation why the safety agency took no action until recently – if the situation is as dire as Secretary LaHood’s radio comments implied.

This sets the stage for a classic “cover your backside” political circus as the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has scheduled a February 4th  hearing on what  it titled,  “Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public at Risk?”

The Oversight committee has asked Yoshi Inaba, chairman and CEO of Toyota Motor North America, to testify. It was not immediately clear if NHTSA would also be held to account by the politicians.

In the meantime, Toyota owners are left without a fix, or any date as to when one will occur, while the allegations and posturing continue.

Frequently Asked Questions on Toyota’s Sticking Accelerator Pedal Recall in North America

Here is the latest from Toyota -- as of last night.

by on Jan.29, 2010

The ongoing controversy about the Toyota accelerator pedal recall has resulted in many inquires. Here is Toyota’s official view, which does not necessarily represent the views of — and is subject to ongoing investigations by various government and safety agencies.

Which models are affected by the recall/stop sale?

Toyota’s accelerator pedal recall and suspension of sales is confined to the following Toyota Division vehicles:

  • Certain 2009-2010 RAV4,
  • Certain 2009-2010 Corolla,
  • 2009-2010 Matrix,
  • 2005-2010 Avalon,
  • Certain 2007-2010 Camry,
  • Certain 2010 Highlander,
  • 2007-2010 Tundra,
  • 2008-2010 Sequoia

No Lexus Division or Scion vehicles are affected by these actions. 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.

Further, Camry, RAV4, Corolla and Highlander vehicles with VINs that begin with “J” are not affected by the sticky accelerator pedal recall. (made in Japan)


Ford Uses Same Pedal Supplier Involved in the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Stop Sale

Ford Chinese Transit production halted. Pedal comes from CTS, which also supplies Toyota with the pedals in its recall.

by on Jan.28, 2010

JMC board chairman Wang Xigao gives Transit to Mao Xinyu, the grandson of Mao Zedong.

Ford Motor Company is taking steps to check on whether the pedal on the Transit Classic van built by one of its Chinese partners,  Jiangling, could contribute to unintended acceleration.

The investigation is, thus far, confined to the Chinese made vehicles, but Ford has halted production until it clarifies the situation, according to CEO Alan Mulally, who said he demanded further explanations when he found that the pedal design was similar to the same one used by Toyota.

Mulally said he wanted Ford to get out in front of the issue as quickly as possible.

Ford’s Chinese partner, Jiangling, recently switched to using the same supplier, CTS, as Toyota uses.

“We have not yet determined we have a problem,” Mulally said during a conference call. “But we know we have no issues with the customers in China,” Mulally said.

Ford officials subsequently stressed there have been no questions raised about the pedal possibly contributing to incidents of “unintended” acceleration.

A spokesperson said as a routine precaution Ford always reviews recalls by competitors to see if they share suppliers. After the latest Toyota recall, Ford found that Jiangling had started purchasing the pedal assemblies from CTS.

“We have our own design for pedals and accelerators,” the spokesperson said.