Pedal glitch sparks recall of 2.3 million Toyota cars
Published 22/01/2010 | 05:00
Toyota is recalling about 2.3 million vehicles in the US to fix sticking accelerator pedals, following its biggest-ever recall in the country last year for a similar danger.
The car giant, which in November said it would notify owners of 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles of a defect that may cause floor mats to jam the pedal, said in a statement yesterday that about 1.7 million vehicles were subject to both voluntary recalls.
"Our investigation indicates that there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position," Irv Miller, a group vice president for the company's US sales unit in Torrance, California, said in the statement.
The announcement may fuel concern that rapid expansion at the world's largest carmaker is leading to production and design glitches, eroding its reputation for quality.
The recall is at least its fourth involving more than 100,000 vehicles in the US the past two years, and Toyota's sales in the country fell 20pc in 2009, its biggest drop since 1961.
"Toyota is the new General Motors," said Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group in Michigan. "Quality issues hurt any carmaker, and these problems are bubbling up to the surface at the time when you have very bad market conditions."
The recall applies to model years 2009-2010 RAV4 sport- utiblity vehicles; 2009-2010 Corolla and 2005-2010 Avalon sedans; 2009-2010 Matrix hatchbacks; 2007-2010 Camrys; 2010 Highlanders; 2007-2010 Tundra pickups; and 2008-2010 Sequoia SUVs.
Karen Aldana, a spokeswoman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said: "We believe it is a serious safety issue and we are pleased that Toyota is taking immediate action to address it."
The timing for informing customers about the latest recall was still being worked out, said Brian Lyons, a spokesman for Toyota's US sales unit. Mr Lyons couldn't immediately say whether the company was aware of accidents or injuries related to the pedal flaw.
"We're still investigating this issue," he added.