Toyota Will Replace Gas Pedals on Recalled Cars

Stuck Gas Pedal

Toyota said today it will reshape or replace accelerator pedals on 3.8 million vehicles involved in the company’s largest recall ever. The announcement expands the scope and expense of the recall, which was announced on Sept. 29. The step will be taken to reduce the risk that the pedal may be jammed in the floor mat. In addition, the company will replace original equipment floor mats with redesigned mats.

The recall involves 2004 to 2009 Priuses—and recent year models of the Camry, Avalon, Tacoma and Tundra, as well as Lexus models ES 350, IS 250, and IS 350.

Toyota will send first-class letters to owners of the Camry, ES 350, and Avalon by the end of the year. Owners of the other models will be notified throughout 2010.

In late September, Toyota announced the recall, saying that a loose floor mat could force down the accelerator, a problem suspected of causing crashes that killed five people. ABC News cited reports of 16 acceleration-related deaths and more than 200 accidents. Toyota said it has confidence the problem is linked to floor mats and not a vehicle design flaw or problems related to braking, fuel or accelerator systems. The recall could cost Toyota more than $5 billion.

Dan Edmunds, an analyst and former engineer, said the actions proposed by Toyota today “are viable solutions to alleviate the problem.”

More Hybrid News...

  • AP

    I never realized what the problem was until I saw that picture. What possible benefit is there in having the bottom of the pedal so close to the floor? You don’t push the pedal with your heel, you use the ball of your foot! A risky design approach with no upside.

    I remember that 3 years ago a Toyota exec expressed concern that it would be difficult to maintain their quality with their rapid expansion plans (a very un-Japanese-like approach). This kind of thinking is what started GM’s fall in the 1960’s to 1970’s.

  • iamdave

    ridiculous that they could overlook something so obvious.

  • boogeyman

    My Prius is in the recall, but the accelerator does not look like the one pictured. I have thouroughly inspected it and can not imagine how (on my car) this issue would happen, but if they are wanting to make some adjustments – just in case – I’m fine with that. I’m happy with them replacing my floor mat (all weather one) cause mine is a piece of junk. It cracked at all the seams where the grooves are and is worthless.

  • Gary

    My Prius is also in the recall, and like Boogeyman, the picture shows MUCH less clearance than exists on my car. On my 2005 Prius, the only want the mat could get anywhere near the gas pedal is if it came off the retaining clips at the aft end of the mat, and it slid forward and curled up as it slid. Or, maybe if you stack up 2 or 3 mats on top of each other.