Toyota Recall: Pedal Fix Found, Dealers to Begin Repairs This Week

Automobile Staff

After a week of intense media coverage, Toyota announced today that it will start replacing potentially sticky throttle pedals -- the subject of a 2.3-million-vehicle recall -- later this week.

Presently, eight models are included in the recall, new examples of which are not currently being sold or produced until the fix can be implemented. According to the automaker, a friction device designed to add feel and resistance to the pedal is the culprit. The device includes a friction shoe that rubs against an adjoining surface, and those two components may begin to stick together, creating a throttle that is slow to close or -- in the worst case scenario -- stays fully open.

“We know what’s causing the sticking accelerator pedals, and we know what we have to do to fix it,” said Jim Lentz, president and COO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. “We also know it is most important to fix this problem in the cars on the road.”

That fix, it seems, involves a piece of steel that is inserted into the assembly, which reduces surface tension that can cause the excess friction. Toyota intends on rectifying floor mat issues -- subject of a different recall -- at the same time as throttle repairs are being made, requiring only a single trip to the dealer for vehicles affected by both recalls.

“We are focused on making this recall as simple and trouble-free as possible,” said Lentz, “and will work day and night with our dealers to fix recalled vehicles quickly. We want to demonstrate that our commitment to safety is as high as ever and that our commitment to our customers is unwavering.” Source: Toyota, NHTSA

This is a pathetic, quick "fix" designed for psychological impact and to get government regulators off their backs. Toyota is no different than other automakers who look for quick, cheap solutions to major flaws to placate angry customers and thwart further government investigation. Is there anyone out there who believes that a small sliver of metal shim is going to solve this problem? You're telling me the pedal assembly in general is of such poor quality that you need shims to keep it from failing? If you believe this shim is the fix to the problem, I have some swampland in Florida I'd like to sell you! Toyota is going to have me believe that a stuck pedal explains a sudden and uncontrollable vehicle surge? Logic tells you that at worst, that will keep the car from decelerating but cannot explain a sudden surge situation such as that described by some victims where they claim they didn't press the gas pedal at all (or were braking) and the car took off anyway. Toyota is barking up the wrong tree! I'd be more than willing to bet this is an electronic glitch -- either electromagnetic interference or a software or firmware glitch. And these kinds of glitches are notoriously difficult to diagnose as to their exact cause because of their highly intermittent nature. Let's see, Toyota starts putting in drive-by-wire and the sudden accelearation problems increase in frequency many times over? Where would basic logic tell you to look first? Obviously, Toyota isn't the only one having these problems. What's common to many of the problems: drive-by-wire. Cars already had way too many potentially problem-prone electronics on them. Perfect those first before moving on to things like drive-by-wire! Can anyone truly test for every possible scenario that could occur based on the almost infinite combination of feedbacks from various electronic sensors in modern cars? You programmer types out there are no doubt all familiar with code fallthroughs. And you financial types out there: how much more does it really cost per car to run an accelarator cable from the gas pedal to the throttle like they used to? Was it worth the risk? How much is Toyota's damaged reputation going to cost them in the future? I certainly won't look at a Toyota and even if I did, I would never consider paying a premium for it. Face it, this premature switch to drive-by-wire is driven by the bottom line i.e. lower costs, more profits. And don't anyone tell me that Toyota isn't guilty of that! Toyota has already damaged their reputation severely and this pathetic so-called "fix" will only tarnish it further. Just how stupid do they think us consumers are? Apparently, they are so arrogant they think their past reputation for quality and a belated apology from their president will carry them. All Toyota has to do is look at GM and see where that kind of attitude ultimately landed them.
This brake problems has been going on since 2002 with lots of deaths and Toyota not doing a thing. It is believed it's NOT mechanical and IS electrical. Scarey business. Toyotas attitude is devisive and has endangered not only the owners of the cars BUT everyone else on the road. Where's the Government when we need them. The other cars on the road need protection. Get Toyota off the road......PERIOD.

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