Toyota to Fix Gas Pedals on 3.8 Million U.S. Vehicles

Nov. 25, 2009
The pedals could get stuck and lead to unintentional acceleration.

Toyota said on Nov. 25 it would fix accelerator pedals on 3.8 million vehicles to prevent them from becoming stuck and leading to unintentional acceleration.

Toyota Motor Sales, the U.S. division of the Japanese automaker, announced details of a major vehicle repair program.

Toyota issued a consumer safety advisory in late September on the potentially fatal defect of an unsecured or incompatible driver's floor mat which could cause the accelerator pedal to be trapped "in the wide open position." The company recalled the vehicles in early October in what it said would be its largest recall to date in the U.S. market.

The recall came after a fatal accident in California involving an accelerator pedal entrapped in the floor mat of a Toyota vehicle.

The eight models involved are: Camry 2007 to 2010 (model year), Avalon (2005-2010), Prius (2004-2009), Tacoma (2005-2010), Tundra (2007-2010), Lexus ES350 (2007-2010), Lexus IS250 (2006-2010), and Lexus IS350 (2006-2010).

Toyota said it would reconfigure the accelerator pedal and in some cases the shape of the floor surfaces under the pedal to address the problem. Toyota said it would also install a brake override system onto the involved models "as an extra measure of confidence."

The additional system cuts engine power in case of simultaneous application of both the accelerator and brake pedals.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a separate statement that it "is particularly pleased that Toyota is taking this additional step."

On Nov. 24, Toyota announced the recall of 110,000 Tundra pick-up trucks (2000-2003) in the U.S. to address potential corrosion on the vehicle's frame. The company warned owners in cold areas that road salt could corrode parts of the frame, causing the spare wheel to come loose and damaging brake lines.

In August, the company recalled some 95,700 cars in the U.S., saying icing in cold temperatures could impair the braking system. That recall affects the 2009 and 2010 models of the Toyota Corolla and the 2008 and 2009 models of the Scion xD.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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