Toyota Motor Corp. continues to be plagued by problems with several models of their vehicles, announcing last week that they will replace the gas pedals on 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus, and a separate Toyota Tundra recall was issued for about 110,000 pickup trucks due to problems with undercarriage rust.
The gas pedal replacements will be done on vehicles that were part of a massive Lexus and Toyota recall issued in late September for the floor mats in the vehicles. The recall was issued to address problems where some vehicles have accelerated out of control after the gas pedal became stuck under the floor mat. New brake systems will also be installed in some of the vehicles as part of the corrective action, which comes after talks between Toyota and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The company will shorten the gas pedals on some models, and will reconfigure the floor surface beneath the pedal on 2005 through 2010 model year Toyota Avalons and 2007 through 2010 Camrys and Lexus ES350s. The Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES and IS models will also receive a new brake over-ride system that is meant to address the problem of some vehicles not stopping when the accelerator and brake pedals are pressed down at the same time. The override feature will be standard on all future Toyota models.
In a separate announcement, Toyota issued a Tundra recall for model year 2000 through 2003 trucks. The vehicles are being recalled due to rust and corrosion that has been found to form on the frame rear cross-member, particularly in areas with high road salt use.
In a press release sent out November 24, Toyota warned that the Tundra undercarriage rust can result in the spare tire stowed under the truck breaking loose, potentially causing a road hazard for the vehicles behind the truck that could lead to a crash. The corrosion could also affect the rear break line which would affect the ability of the truck to break correctly, which could also result in a crash.
This month and through early 2010, Toyota will inform Tundra owners affected by the recall to bring their trucks in for an inspection. Based on the state of the rear cross-member, and whether the vehicle is used in a high salt-use area, Toyota will either coat the cross-member with a corrosion-resistant compound or replace the entire assembly.