Though Toyota announced the recall of 2007 through early 2010 Prius sedans, back in October, to fix a problem with so-called “pedal entrapment,” the maker says it is still not ready to start making repairs to the hybrid.
There is no set date, but “we’re hoping very soon” to notify owners to begin bringing their Prius sedans into service centers for repairs, Sean Gilligan, a Toyota field technical specialist, tells TheDetroitBureau.com.
Part of what is known internally as the “90L” recall, the broader recall campaign was announced last October. It targets vehicles where accelerator pedals can inadvertently be jammed open by loose carpet or mats. Originally, Toyota said that 3.8 million vehicles, including Camry and Avalon, as well as Prius, were affected by the problem. Since the beginning of the year, the automaker has expanded the number of models covered by the recall to more than 5 million.
There were several challenges, Gilligan explains, before the recall can be completed. First, Toyota has had to identify the problem, then develop a fix which can vary by model. The carmaker started by focusing on higher-volume models, like Camry and Avalon.
The repair will involve the placement of a rubber stopper behind the accelerator, as well as a so-called tibia pad. This is a piece of hardened Styrofoam that sits between the metal floor pan and the carpet, just in front of the pedals. The new pad is thinner than what the Prius was originally equipped with, so there’s more of a gap between the carpet and the accelerator pedal. That pedal will also be replaced to widen the gap still further.
It’s unclear whether the carpet entrapment issue was in any way involved in a well-publicized incident, in California, earlier this week, in which a motorist’s Prius raced out of control. It eventually stopped when the driver received help from police after calling 911. (Click Here)
While the 90L recall for Prius has been delayed, Toyota’s Gilligan notes that a separate campaign, to fix a problem with balky brakes on the 2010 Prius, is well underway. That repair involves “re-flashing” the electronic brake control system to modify its software.