Toronto, Ontario – Toyota Canada Inc. has announced it will begin fixing accelerator pedals in recalled Toyota Division vehicles by the end of this week. Toyota’s engineers have developed a solution that involves modifying the pedal assembly to eliminate the excess friction that has caused the pedals to stick in rare instances.
On January 21, 2010, Toyota Canada announced it was recalling approximately 270,000 Toyota vehicles equipped with a specific accelerator pedal assembly. It also suspended delivery of the eight models involved in the recall on January 26, and announced that it would stop production of the affected models on North American production lines for the week of February 1, allowing the company to focus on fixing vehicles involved in the recall.
Vehicle models affected are certain 2009-2010 RAV4; 2009-2010 Corolla; 2009-2010 Matrix; 2005-2010 Avalon; 2007-2010 Camry; 2010 Highlander; 2007-2010 Tundra; and 2008-2010 Sequoia. Certain 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe models, a sister vehicle to the Matrix, are also affected.
No Lexus or Scion vehicles are affected. Also not included are Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Highlander Hybrid, and certain Camry models, including Camry Hybrid.
Should a driver experience a sticking accelerator pedal while driving, the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes. The brakes should not be pumped repeatedly. The vehicle should be driven to the nearest safe location, the engine shut off, and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance. Even if the accelerator pedal action returns to normal, no further attempt should be made to drive the car.
Information related to the recall can be found at Toyota Canada or by calling 1-888-TOYOTA-8.
Toyota has pinpointed the issue: it involves a friction device or lever that, in conjunction with a spring in the accelerator pedal, is designed to help control the force necessary to depress the pedal and the return force necessary to release the pedal to allow for smooth operation of the pedal. Due to the materials used, wear, and environmental conditions, the surfaces over time may begin to stick and release instead of operating smoothly. In rare instances, the friction of the accelerator pedal may increase to a point where the pedal may become harder to depress, slower to return, or, in the worst case, become stuck in a partially depressed position.
To repair the vehicles, a precision-cut steel reinforcement bar will be installed into the assembly, reducing the surface tension between the friction shoe and the adjoining surface. The excess friction that can cause the pedal to stick will be eliminated. The company has confirmed the effectiveness of the newly-modified pedals that had previously shown a tendency to stick.