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Toyota Expands Accelerator Pedal and Floor Mat Recalls

Posted: Jan 29, 2010 09:56 a.m.

New developments continue in the Toyota recall firestorm, with the world’s largest automaker adding another 1.1 million vehicles to last year’s recall involving unintended acceleration and floor mats. Note that this is a separate recall from the more recent one involving faulty accelerator pedals, which affects 2.3 million vehicles.

Jalopnik explains: “The increase means Toyota has recalled 5.35 million vehicles in the probe, agreeing to use zip ties (to a somewhat ghastly effect), repair or replace the pedals, replace the floor mats and in some cases will make software modifications and reshape the floor surface.”

The new models covered under the recall are the 2008-2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Venza, 2009-2010 Matrix and 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe. The previously recalled models are the 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2004-2009 Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350, and 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 and IS350.

Note that, just like the more recent accelerator pedal recall, this past recall was also issued due to reports of unintended acceleration. But remember that the two recalls are still entirely separate. Things are getting a little confusing, aren’t they? To help sort it all out, Jalopnik has compiled a handy recall timeline.

Meanwhile, Toyota has also expanded the more recent accelerator pedal recall to include vehicles in Europe that share the same faulty pedal, which is manufactured by CTS Corp. According to Auto Week, Toyota “will recall an unknown number of vehicles in Europe and about 75,000 vehicles in China for the sticking accelerator-pedal issue. But Toyota wasn't halting sales or vehicle production in the regions.”

Left Lane News specifies that the vehicles recalled in China are 2009-2010 Toyota RAV4s, though “Toyota has not specified just which or how many European-market models will be affected.”

The pedal recall has also affected Ford Motor Company, which uses the same accelerator pedal in its Transit Classic diesel van, sold in China. Though Ford says it hasn’t received any reports of unintended acceleration, the domestic automaker is suspending production anyway until the issue is resolved.

“According to Ford, the vehicles began production in December and only about 1,600 vehicles have been produced,” writes Autoblog.

The pedal recall has gone global, but it still doesn’t address much older model-year cars. That may be a mistake, as the Detroit Free Press reports. They write that authorities investigated reports of unintended acceleration in 2002-2003 Toyota Camrys, Solaras and Lexus ES300s as early as 2004. However, they note, “a NHTSA report said examination of 139 complaints found no defects.”

So far, these earlier complaints have not been tied to the recent recalls. But regardless, the Free Press points out that “the case raises questions of whether Toyota, which this week halted sales of eight models over acceleration concerns, can put the issue to rest without repairing older models.”

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