In an effort to assure its customers (and its stockholders) Toyota has now officially announced details of its plan to fix potentially sticky accelerator pedals in 2.3 million recalled vehicles. Repairs to affected vehicles will begin this week.
A “fix” has been developed for the recalled vehicles that includes reinforcing the pedal mechanism to eliminate the friction that could have caused a sticking accelerator pedal. In addition, Toyota has worked with the pedal supplier to create a new pedal that will be used on newly-manufactured Toyota models.
Toyota will, however, continue as planned with the temporary closing of many of its North American plans for this week.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and reliability of the vehicles our customers drive,” said Jim Lentz, president and COO at Toyota USA. “We deeply regret the concern that our recalls have caused for our customers and we are doing everything we can – as fast as we can – to make things right. Stopping production is never an easy decision, but we are 100% confident it was the right decision. We know what’s causing the sticking accelerator pedals, and we know what we have to do to fix it. We also know it is most important to fix this problem in the cars on the road.”
Lentz also said that many dealerships will work 24 hours a day to fix potentially faulty accelerator pedals. “We want to demonstrate that our commitment to safety is as high as ever and that our commitment to our customers is unwavering,” he said.
The accelerator pedal recall affects 2.3 million vehicles in North America, including eight models: 2009-2010 RAV4, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2010 Highlander, 2007-2010 Tundra and 2008-2010 Sequoia.
No Camry, RAV4, Corolla or Highlander vehicles with VIN numbers that begin with J are affected, nor are any Lexus or Scion models.
In the event of a sticky gas pedal, Toyota advises to apply the brakes until the vehicle comes to a stop and to then turn the vehicle off. Experts also suggest that applying the brakes and then putting the vehicle into Neutral may help to slow the car.
Official release after the jump: