Toyota Expands Recall for Sudden Acceleration Problem

Back in November, I questioned the effectiveness of Toyota's limited recall in the post Will Toyota Recall Solve the Acceleration Problem?

Toyota had blamed the heavily publicized sudden acceleration problem on floor mats that caused the gas pedal to stick. However, several consumers said that the acceleration in their Toyota had not been caused by the floor mat. For example, Elizabeth James, whose Toyota Prius suddenly accelerated to 90 MPH, said that her foot was not even on the gas pedal: "I'm absolutely certain that in my situation, it was not the floor mats."

Last week Toyota finally admitted that the sudden acceleration problems could not be caused by floor mats alone and announced a recall of 2.3 million vehicles.

“In recent months, Toyota has investigated isolated reports of sticking accelerator pedal mechanisms in certain vehicles without the presence of floor mats,” said Toyota Motor Sales Vice President Irv Miller. “Our investigation indicates that there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position.”

Apparently, wear and tear may cause the pedal sensor assembly to malfunction and possibly get stuck while engaged. Obviously, a stuck accelerator pedal that causes sudden acceleration will increase the risk of crash and injury.

Recalled vehicles include the 2009 Pontiac Vibe, 2005 to 2010 Toyota Avalon, 2007 to 2010 Toyota Camry, 2009 to 2010 Toyota Corolla, 2009 to 2010 Toyota Corolla Matrix, 2010 Toyota Highlander, 2009 to 2010 Toyota RAV4, 2008 to 2010 Toyota Sequoia, and 2007 to 2010 Toyota Tundra.

This recall of 2.3 million vehicles is separate from the previous recall of 4.2 Toyota and Lexus vehicles with defective floor mats. At the time of the previous recall, Toyota representatives denied that a mechanical problem might be behind the incidences of sudden acceleration. After the recall, ABC News aired a story which reported on 60 new cases of runaway Toyotas after the recall.

Toyota representatives have not said how the company plans to repair defective accelerator pedals. Simply replacing the part with another defective part would not remedy the situation. If you have one of the affected Toyota vehicles listed above, call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 for more information. You can also find more information at www.safecar.gov.

If you have one of the recalled vehicles, you should stop driving it until it is repaired. The sudden acceleration problem has caused several deaths. If you find yourself behind the wheel of a runaway Toyota, shift the car into neutral and firmly apply the brakes, including the emergency brake.

If you have been injured in an auto accident due to a defective part, contact an experienced Atlanta auto accident attorney immediately. You may be entitled to compensation. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.