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Toyota names Irish cars at risk in throttle recall

Toyota has now confirmed the Irish models affected by its massive global recall which has affected millions of customers around the world.

A blacklist of eight Irish models has been drawn up, amid confirmation that the company knew as far back as a year ago that accelerator pedals in its cars were jamming.



Lawsuits

The admission came amid reports in Canada that class-action lawsuits have been launched against Toyota, demanding compensation for injuries sustained by out-of-control cars.

It has been claimed that as many as 18 deaths in the US are down to the faulty accelerator pedal.

The scare is threatening to spread to Renault. And it has emerged that nearly 100,000 Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 models may be affected as they share parts with Toyota.

Renault has said that it is "monitoring the situation" since it shares the same Toyota pedal supplier on some models.

Toyota is putting out recall notices on 8 million of its cars around the world because of incidents when the accelerator pedal in certain models has stuck -- a defect with allegedly lethal consequences in some instances, according to statistics from a US safety agency.

Of the recall, which is the biggest of its kind in the history of motoring, a staggering 1.8 million cars in Europe have to go back to the company, while 26,000 Irish cars are affected.

The cars in Ireland include the Aygo, Yaris, Auris, Corolla, Verso, Avensis and RAV4 models.

However, two of the most popular Toyota models -- the 1.4 petrol Corolla and 1.4 petrol Auris -- are not included in the recall.

As damaging for Toyota as the recall itself is the admission in Britain that the company knew about the potentially lethal problem more than a year ago.

"There were cases [of jamming pedals] that were looked at in the winter of 2008-09 and where parts were subsequently modified," said a spokesman.



Warning

"Very few vehicles had been reported. The situation appeared to disappear and there were no cases in the spring and summer months.

"However, within a few days of this winter setting in, that was no longer the case."

When asked why the incidents last winter were not publicised by Toyota with a warning to customers, the spokesman replied: "There were very few cases. It was felt it was not a problem."

Toyota has admitted 26 accelerator pedal incidents in Europe which statistically, says Toyota, makes their occurrence "very rare".

A spokesman for the consumer group Which? said today: "We believe Toyota is acting responsibly."

Toyota Ireland said today that it will be contacting the first batch of its Irish customers directly in the next 10 days.

Mark Teevan, Toyota's After Sales director said: "I would stress that the possibility of a defective accelerator pedal in any vehicle is extremely remote in all circumstances and we do fully appreciate the concern that owners of affected vehicles may feel."

A dedicated helpline has been set up for Irish Toyota owners at 01 4190222.

imallon@herald.ie


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