Toyota Recall – How long will we have to wait?

Toyota Pedal Crash

As we all know, there is a HUGE problem with some pedals on Toyota cars, where the accelerator pedal gets stuck and there’s no way to stop the car. This recall is now affecting over eight million Toyotas,  and there is no timetable  for Toyota to fix the problem. This shocking and graphic 911 call of people who couldn’t stop their car is now famous, and it’s brutal hearing them crash at the end. Today, there was another crash possibly related to the same issue – the police aren’t sure at this point.

The models that are potential issues:

2009-2010 RAV4,
2009-2010 Corolla,
2009-2010 Matrix,
2005-2010 Avalon,
Certain 2007-2010 Camry
2010 Highlander except hybrid models,
2007-2010 Tundra,
2008-2010 Sequoia

A new warning now includes:

2008-2010 Highlander
2009-2010 Corolla
2009-2010 Venza
2009-2010 Matrix
2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe

What we do know is this.

From the FAQ on the Toyota website:

When do you expect to have a remedy?
We’re making every effort to remedy this situation for our customers as quickly as possible.

Yesterday, they sent out an update (same link farther down on the page), a part of which is this:

Toyota’s remedy plan is to modify or replace the accelerator pedals on the subject vehicles to address the risk of floor mat entrapment, even when an older-design all weather floor mat or other inappropriate mat is improperly attached, or is placed on top of another floor mat.  Floor surface modifications are also being considered and will be included in the remedy plan for any model for which it is deemed appropriate.

Initially, dealers will be instructed on how to reshape the accelerator pedal for the repair.  As replacement parts with the same shape as the modified pedal become available, they will be made available to the dealers for the repair. Customers who have had the pedal reshape remedy completed will have the opportunity to receive a new pedal if they desire, after replacement pedals become available.

In addition, Toyota will replace any Toyota all-weather floor mat in a subject vehicle with a newly designed mat, free of charge. For those customers who have the previous design all-weather floor mat but do not need or want the newly designed all-weather floor mat, Toyota will recover the previous design all-weather floor mat and reimburse its price.

Another “update”:

Statement from Toyota on Supplier CTS

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) has been working closely with supplier CTS on a revised design that effectively remedies the problem associated with accelerator pedals. Pedals featuring the revised design are now in full production at CTS to support Toyota’s needs. Meanwhile, we are also working with them to test effective modifications to existing pedals in the field that will be rolled out as quickly as possible.

“We commend CTS for working diligently and collaboratively to find a solution to the potential problem and in developing a new design,” said Chris Nielsen, TEMA’s Vice President of Purchasing. “CTS is a long-term and valued supplier to us.”

OK, so they’ve now acknowledged their plan, although there appears to be zero timetable. In addition, according to a New York Times article back in October, this problem was known for TWO YEARS!

From another article:

“Typically suppliers make 16 thousand of these a week and we’re talking about 2.3 million vehicles that need to be replaced,” said Rebecca Lindland, auto analyst with IHS Global Insight. “This could be a very long drawn out process for Toyota,” she said. At the current rate, it would take nearly three years to produce that many pedals.

So, that’s it then? We just sit back and wait until they’ve made enough of them or have taught enough dealers how to fix them?

Today in the New York Times we read that Toyota extends the recall to China and Europe.

“The reason Toyota decided to do the recall and to stop manufacturing is that we asked them to,” Raymond LaHood, the Transportation secretary, said.

In Japan, “many of us weren’t surprised over the big recalls,” said Masahiro Fukuda, manager of research at Fourin, a global automotive research company based in Nagoya, Japan. “We were more surprised that it took Toyota so long.”

No big deal, it’s just the accelerator potentially getting stuck on my car.

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