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Another Toyota Recall!

January 22nd, 2010

After a long “investigation,” Toyota has finally announced that a recall of about 2.3 million Toyotas that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says pose a serious safety issue.

According to the NHTSA website, the problem is that “the accelerator pedal may become hard to depress, slow to return to idle, or, in the worst case, mechanically stuck in a partially depressed position, increasing the risk of a crash” [italics added]. So far, Toyota has not released its plan to remedy the situation, or even contact owners about the problem. In its own press release, Toyota says that if this happens while you are driving:

…the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes. The brakes should not be pumped repeatedly because it could deplete vacuum assist, requiring stronger brake pedal pressure. The vehicle should be driven to the nearest safe location, the engine shut off and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.

Both Toyota and the NHTSA documents say that Toyota owners who have questions or concerns should call Toyota’s Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. Good luck. I tried and got a recorded message that said that no one could answer the call due to high call volume, and then instructed me to “please call back” before hanging up.

You may recall (pun intended) that Toyota had similar accelerator issues in 2009, but the company blamed it on floor mats trapping the accelerator pedal, keeping it depressed even after the driver’s foot was removed. Toyota says the two recalls are not related. If that’s true and it is all a big coincidence, Toyota has had the worst luck with accelerator parts.

The cars involved in this current recall are:

TOYOTA / AVALON 2005-2010
TOYOTA / CAMRY 2007-2010
TOYOTA / COROLLA 2009-2010
TOYOTA / COROLLA MATRIX 2009-2010
TOYOTA / HIGHLANDER 2010
TOYOTA / RAV4 2009-2010
TOYOTA / SEQUOIA 2008-2010
TOYOTA / TUNDRA 2007-2010

To read the recall information posted by the NHTSA, go to their website:
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/results.cfm

To read Toyota’s statement, go to:
http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota/toyota-consumer-safety-advisory-102572.aspx

HensonFuerst will post additional updates as they become available. You can also visit our website at www.lawmed.com