After months of consumer complaints and at least four deaths, Toyota announced a recall of approximately 2.3 million cars that may potentially have a faulty accelerator pedal.
Recently, there have been reports of gas pedals sticking in an accelerated position. Toyota claims this is a rare occurrence that occurs when the pedal mechanism becomes worn and becomes harder to depress, slower to return to its original position and at worst, stuck in the partially depressed position.
This recall comes on the heels of Toyota’s recall in November 2009, which affected 4.2 million cars. That recall involved a design flaw that could allow the gas pedal to be trapped under the floor mat. In August of 2009, off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor was driving a loaner Lexus when the gas pedal became stuck. The car was reported speeding at an estimated 120 mph as they approached a busy intersection, collided with another car and rolled several times. Saylor, a 19 year CHP veteran, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law were killed.
Although drivers have removed the floor mats as recommended by Toyota in the first recall, reports of involuntary acceleration and stuck pedals continue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating recent car crashes in Texas and New Jersey involving Toyota vehicles that experienced sudden acceleration due to a stuck gas pedal.
On December 26, 2009, four people were killed when their Toyota Avalon suddenly accelerated, ran a stop sign, ran through a fence and flipped into pond. According to the police, there were no skid marks and the floor mats were found in the trunk.
There are about 1.7 million cars that are affected by both recalls, including, the Camry, Toyota’s best selling model.
Toyota’s accelerator pedal recall includes the following models:
– 2009-2010 RAV4,
– 2009-2010 Corolla,
– 2009-2010 Matrix,
– 2005-2010 Avalon,
– 2007-2010 Camry,
– 2010 Highlander,
– 2007-2010 Tundra,
– 2008-2010 Sequoia