Toyota Announces Second Major Recall in Four Months to Address Unintended Acceleration Issue

Toyota Motor Corporation has announced its second large-scale recall of vehicles in the U.S. in the past four months. The company said on Thursday that the latest recall of about 2.3 million vehicles is being prompted by potentially defective accelerator pedals and will include some of the same vehicle models involved in last fall’s recall of some 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

Those vehicles included 2005-2010 Avalons and 2007-2010 Camrys and was prompted by concerns over potential problems with the vehicle’s floor mats which the automaker said were causing accelerator pedals to become trapped, resulting in what it termed unintended acceleration.

Now, just months later, owners of some of those same vehicles are being told that the problem could be due to another defect, not related to their vehicle’s floor mats. The current recall includes only Toyota Division models.

Toyota spokesman, John Hanson, drew the distinction between the current and previous recall by saying the first recall was due to potential accelerator pedal entrapment, whereas the current recall will address faulty pedal design.

Toyota said the faulty pedals in question are only found on vehicles built and sold in North America and, according to Hanson, the defect is not one of design but of durability. Hanson said, We’re finding that they prematurely wear.

Vehicles included in the current recall include 2007-2010 Tundra pickups, 2008-2010 Sequoia pickups, 2009-2010 Corollas, Matrixes and RAV4s, and 2010 Highlander SUVs in addition to the Avalons and Camrys included in last fall’s recall.

Hanson would not name the manufacturer who supplied the defective pedals but did say that they are not the only supplier used by Toyota. Concerning the safety of pedals provided by the second supplier, Hanson said, There was no evidence of a similar situation with the other supplier. He went on to say that vehicles not included in the current recall are equipped with pedals manufactured by that other supplier.

Hanson did not offer specific information on the number of complaints the company has received but said they had all been related to the company by dealers. Instead, he said the problem is extremely rare and added, We wanted to get out in front of this.

Toward that end, Toyota North America Incorporated president, Yoshi Inaba, told reporters at last week’s Detroit Auto Show that the company will begin installing a brake override system in all Lexus, Scion and Toyota models beginning this month.

He said that the addition of the brake override system, combined with redesigned accelerator pedals will absolutely solve the problem and added, We must be closer to the market. Every day is a lesson. This is one we learned the hard way.

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