Toyota has announced another recall involving 2.3 million vehicles after discovering that the accelerator pedals can stick on several popular models, including the Camry, Corolla, Tundra and Avalon. The Toyota recall is separate from an on-going floor mat recall involving 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles, which was issued because of problems where accelerator pedals were getting caught under the floor mat.
According to a Toyota press release, this latest recall sprung out of investigations of cases where drivers said their gas pedals got stuck in the open position with no floor mats present. Approximately 600,000 vehicles included in this latest recall were not subject to the prior floor mat recall, with about 1.7 million Toyota vehicles subject to both 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,” said Irv Miller, vice president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
Toyota models affected by this latest recall include:
- 2009-2010 Toyota Rav4
- 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla
- 2009-2010 Toyota Matrix
- 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon
- 2007-2010 Toyota Camry
- 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra
- 2008-2010 Toyota Sequoia
- 2010 Toyota Highlander
The prior Toyota recall issued in September 2009 was blamed on thick all-weather floor mats that were causing the accelerator pedal to become physically jammed. In November, Toyota announced plans to address the problem by shortening the gas pedals on some models, and reconfiguring the floor surface beneath the pedals on others.
Problems with Toyota and Lexus vehicles accelerating out of control gained national attention following a fatal accident in California in August, where an off-duty state trooper and three family members were killed while driving a Lexus ES 350 on loan from a San Diego dealership. Minutes before the fatal Lexus crash, passengers called police and reported that the Lexus had accelerated to 120 m.p.h. Witnesses reported that the car’s tires were on fire, which was likely due to the driver slamming on the brakes before slamming into an SUV, falling off an embankment, rolling over multiple times and bursting into flames.
Federal regulators have received more than 100 incident reports from Toyota owners regarding the problem.
Toyota officials indicate that the latest recall was issued to address a different problem. Defective gas pedals in models affected by this week’s recall seem to start developing problems when the pedal mechanism becomes worn. The pedal may become hard to press down, slow to return to the closed position or may become stuck, causing the vehicle to accelerate out of control.
The company has said that it is still working on a solution for the problem. In the meantime, Toyota advises drivers of vehicles whose accelerator gets stuck to stop the vehicle using firm and steady application of the brakes. The company recommends against pumping the brakes, which could deplete the vacuum-assist feature. Once the vehicle is slowed, it should be driven to the nearest safe location, shut off, and a Toyota dealer should be contacted for assistance.